News & Publications

Newsletters & Health IT News

If you are a health IT professional seeking to enhance your career; an academic looking for that next great course adoption; or project manager searching for an ideal resource for your organization, then you’ve come to the right place. Here you can read the latest Southern California HIMSS newsletters to see what your peers are up to, or you can link to HIMSS Publications to find the latest books on such topics as mobile health, clinical decision support, business intelligence, IT governance, return on investment, Meaningful Use and health IT market research. Previously available only in soft-cover editions, these titles, in addition to more than two dozen best-selling HIMSS books, are now also available as eBooks. Dozens of other HIMSS books and titles distributed by HIMSS are available in soft- and hard-cover editions. You can explore HIMSS catalog of publications here. eBooks are located here. You can purchase books and reports through the HIMSS Store website or call 312-915-9295.

Message from the President


We have come to the end of an exciting year and the start of a new decade! As the year came to a close I reflected on the things I am most grateful for. Primarily among those is the talented group of volunteers that work tirelessly for HIMSS Southern California. Thank you for the work you have done for the Southern California Chapter this year. We have come through a year that was filled with both challenges and successes. It’s reassuring to know that we can count on our amazing team regardless of what trials we may face. The endless hours you all have spent working on projects is impressive! Your diligence, self-motivation is an inspiration to others on our team and those looking to also volunteer their time.

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Digital Transformation of Healthcare: A Global Matter

By Dr. Mary Anne Schultz

Digital health, like public or population health, is a global affair. In the United States, healthcare spending is substantially higher while significantly worse population outcomes are realized, even when compared to those of other wealthy nations (Harvard Global Health Institute). Coupled with bold gains in human longevity, a similar trend has emerged worldwide prompting decision makers to question what, if any, gains are being obtained for these rising expenditures. A potential answer is being propagated in the single most important disruptive change in healthcare to date: the entrance of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools which promise to make care provision more precise, more efficient, more impactful.

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Become a Healthcare Manager, Enjoy Life and Improve the World

By Prof. Barry Hunt, HIMSS SoCal Academic Alliance Representative; California State University, Los Angeles

Healthcare management is the largest growth industry with the most wide-ranging, well-paying jobs and career opportunities now and into the foreseeable future.

Whether your primary interests are in strategic planning, finance, information systems, facilities, materials management, logistics, human resources, marketing, engineering, law, science, social work, community health, hospitality, teaching, or direct patient care in hospitals, clinics or public health, this profession is for you.

Based on my long career in public health, hospital administration and teaching, as a healthcare manager you will be a role model and express your creative side. You will work with smart, caring colleagues from many disciplines where virtually every day is exciting, challenging, frustrating yet rewarding. You will be in the “hot seat” with your hands on the controls as you help “steer the ship” at the cutting edge of innovation in patient care, research, education and public/private partnerships.

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Our Latest Podcasts are Available!

Securing the Human

In this podcast, Anahi Santiago discusses the transition of the healthcare industry towards consumerism that the implications from a cybersecurity perspective. She shares how innovation and the role of the CISO plays a key role in changing how care is delivered and in setting the strategic plan for an organization.

Developing ‘Digital First’ Models of Primary Care

In this podcast, Dimitri Varsamis discusses difference between the academic, governmental and business world when it comes to healthcare and the intersection of what is similar and different between the US and NHS health systems. In his research he covers digital first models of innovation that can be created and theoretically accessible very quickly for patients and consumers. He also shares why it is key to remain curious about the future.

We also have a universal apple/google link that automatically updates with every episode:

Developing a More Secure PACS Ecosystem

By Jon Moore, Senior Vice President & Chief Risk Officer, Clearwater

The security of medical images took center stage recently as Senator Mark Warner of Virginia demanded that TridentUSA and its affiliate MobileXUSA outline their cybersecurity practices after ProPublica reported the imaging firms left millions of medical records and patient data exposed online.

The ProPublica report unveiled one of the biggest data security failings in healthcare this year. The companies failed to protect with passwords and other basic security controls 187 computers that store X-Rays, MRIs, and other health data. As a result, anyone could use a web browser or free software to view the information.

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Upcoming Events

January 24 - 2020 Cybersecurity Forum

March 10 - Chapter Reception at HIMSS20

April 24 - 2020 Patient Experience Forum

May 7 - State HIT Day in Sacramento

June 1 - 2020 Annual Healthcare IT Conference


Message from the President

Mentoring Matters

In June of 2019 while I was at one of our HIMSS Southern California events, I was speaking with an executive and he asked, “How did you get here?” (in reference to starting my presidency in July).  While I am not sure if he would have asked other incoming presidents the same question, I simply stated that I just showed up and smiled. But the truth of the matter is I got ‘here’ not only by showing up but volunteering and doing all I could to help various committee chairs and board members. No task was too big or too small. The most important aspect, however, was having individuals that mentored and believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself.

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Advocacy Update

By Ian Slade, Vice President, Advocacy

Last September 23-27, 2019, we celebrated the U.S. National Health IT Week 2019 focused on Supporting Healthy Communities and driving transformation of our health and wellness ecosystem to promote better health outcomes and health equity.

540 Partners from across the healthcare community representing government, healthcare delivery organizations, universities, non-profits and market suppliers to celebrate our collective commitment to ensure IT supports healthcare transformation in the U.S.

HIMSS Southern California Chapter has been an avid supporter of this initiative. For years, we've advocated and campaigned to our members to be aware, engaged and involved.

Read More including letter from Senator Dianne Feinstein


By Regina Atim, Pharm.D., MBA, BCMAS, Chair, Academic Alliance

Being a mentor comes naturally perhaps because I have spent the better part of my formative career being mentored, by someone whom I admired. To me, it is an act of love when someone, who isn’t otherwise obligated, chooses to spend their time with you, giving valuable insight into career paths or even life choices. I have come to understand that choosing to be a mentor is an endeavor where the mentor gains as much value from the interaction as the mentee.

When I choosing a mentee, I typically look for someone who is driven, perhaps reminds me of my younger self, and is motivated and actively seeking direction. As a mentor, I look to share my experiences as a professional with the hope of informing my mentee’s next steps whether it be professionally or even personally.

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6th Annual Charity Golf Tournament

By Krystal Di Stefano, Vice President, Programs

Thank you to everyone who supported, attended, organized and volunteered at the 6th Annual HIMSS SoCal Charity Golf Tournament on September 30, 2019, at Aliso Viejo Country Club. It was a beautiful day and a huge success! Our planning committee worked hard to ensure everyone had a great day on the course socializing with colleagues outside of the office while supporting a good cause. 

HIMSS SoCal is proud to support the Ronald McDonald House of Orange County (RMHOC) in a longterm partnership. Because of our sponsors, golfers and all SoCal HIMSS members, this is the third year we will be able to gift a donation to support their vision to create a community where children and their families embrace life and healing with a sense of hope, enthusiasm, courage and joy

Read More plus lots of photos!

HIMSS SoCal Joins ‘Dusk at the Island’ Fundraiser

By Krystal Di Stefano, Vice President, Programs

On October 10, 2019, members of HIMSS SoCal attended the Ronald McDonald House of Orange County’s “Dusk at the Island” event held at the Fashion Island Hotel in Newport Beach. This premier annual fundraising event celebrated a momentous 30th Anniversary. A special thanks to co-founder Fred Hill and his family for opening the doors of the Orange County House in November of 1989.

“Dusk at the Island” not only helps raise funds for RMHOC’s annual operating costs but it supports their mission to KEEP FAMILIES CLOSE. This year was extra special as the local community came together to go above and beyond and help the RMHOC hit their $12M expansion goal. Attendees bid on specialty items and experiences through silent and live auctions. Families who have used the house in the past shared their stories and gratitude. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room.

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Our Latest Podcasts

The Future is Not What it Used to be

In this podcast, Ogechika Alozie shares his perspective as a practicing infectious disease physician and CHIO in delivering solutions to a community that faces challenges in access to care, health literacy, and cultural diversity. In the journey to deliver strategies around clinical and population improvements with technologies such as telemedicine, he discusses how his organization has been innovative in leveraging Medicaid programs, EMR optimization efforts, and securing budgetary funding within an academic medical setting.

Interoperability 2020

In this podcast, Pavel Smirnov discusses what organizations can do to deliver the use of FHIR and APIs in their healthcare system. Understanding the framework and standards is key to developing a technology community to support the continued growth and development of these solutions. With the importance of interoperability in our ecosystem today, these standards will become table stakes in strategic differentiation.

Lessons the U.S. Can Learn from Other Countries in Delivering High Quality and Cost Effective Healthcare

In this podcast, Dr. Alan Young discusses how lessons learned from his experiences receiving and delivering care in other countries have shaped his perspective on how to drive improvement in the U.S.

We now have a universal apple/google link that automatically updates with every episode:

GovTech Conference Digital Summit

By Barrington (Barry) Hunt, MPA, HIMSS Academic Alliance Representative, Cal State LA

Three hundred state, county and city managers attended the GovTech Conference Digital Summit of government information technology agencies, industry executives and academics in Downtown LA on August 27-28, 2019. It was a real eye-opener. Many of our current and former L.A. County and City DHS/DPH/DMH IT leaders were there presenting, networking and bestowing awards on scores of managers of worthy projects (local, national and international). The event focuses on applying the latest tools in IT to solve problems of government, industry, education, healthcare, city planning, transportation, finance and accounting. Many received productivity awards.

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Call to Action: Promoting Interoperability 2019 & Beyond

By Steven Schulman, MHA, CPHQ Director, Promoting Interoperability, Keck Medicine of USC

With the end of CY2019 fast approaching, many eligible hospitals (EH) and eligible providers (EP) are putting forth last minute improvements to increase Promoting Interoperability scores. Promoting Interoperability, for those who aren’t familiar, is the new version of CMS’s Meaningful Use program where CMS regulates the effective use of EHRs, and poor performance can result in negative adjustments being applied to Medicare payments.

Promoting Interoperability is composed of four objectives and six measures, and there are versions for both the inpatient and outpatient settings. The objectives are E-Prescribing, Health Information Exchange, Provider to Patient Exchange, and Public Health & Clinical Data Exchange. The overall goal is to reach or exceed a 50-point minimum, out of a total of 100 points, over a self-selected 90-day reporting window. The focus of this article is the Health Information Exchange (HIE) objective, specifically the Support Electronic Referral Loops by Sending Health Information measure, otherwise known as Send Summary of Care (SOC), a measure underneath the HIE objective and worth 20 points.

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Upcoming Events

2019 CXO Symposium - December 2, 2019

2020 Cybersecurity Forum - January 24, 2020

2020 Patient Experience Forum - April 24, 2020

2020 Healthcare IT Conference - June 1, 2020


Welcome from the President

By Karen Kennedy

Hello to our HIMSS SoCal community! I’m excited to kick off my HIMSS SoCal Presidency for the 2019 – 2020 term. First, thank you all for the support you have shown our organization and specifically our Chapter throughout the years. We’re glad you are here and continuing to attend our Health IT events while promoting initiatives that are important to healthcare and ultimately patients worldwide.

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Meet Our Board of Directors and Committee Chairs

By Karen Kennedy, President

Please contact anyone on our Board of Directors or our Committee Chairs for information about becoming a volunteer; or let us know how we can help keep our chapter focused on initiatives that are important and meaningful to you and your organization.

Meet the Board

Our Latest Podcasts are Available

By Sarah Richardson

Digital Health Checkup – How Healthy is Your Organization? with Jason Wood

Biomedical Device Security:  The Risk is More than Security with David Finn

AI and 5G – Ethical Biases and IT Progress with Dr. Shafiq Rab

Upcoming Episodes:

  • Pavel Smirnov - Interoperability 2020 (September 2019)
  • Alan S. Young - Lessons the U.S. can learn from other countries in delivering high quality and cost effective healthcare (October 2019)
  • Dimitri Varsamis - Developing ‘Digital First’ Models of Primary Care (November 2019)

Read More

Ian Slade Selected as One of IFAH's Top 100 Global Healthcare Leaders

The International Forum for Advancements in Healthcare included our own Ian Slade, RN, MBA, PMP, in their list of Top 100 Global Healthcare Leaders. The awards were presented on June 20th in Las Vegas. 


HIMSS SoCal and OC Ronald McDonald House: A Continued Partnership

By Krystal Di Stefano, Vice President, Programs

HIMSS SoCal Chapter continued its partnership with the Orange County Ronald McDonald House (OCRMH) by supporting the 3rd Annual Red Shoes and Brews event. On Sunday, August 4th, Executive Board members Karen Kennedy and Krystal Di Stefano, ventured to the Heritage Museum of Orange County to sample local food and beverages from some of Southern California’s favorite breweries and eateries.

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Health 2.0 Discount

$200 Discount to Health 2.0 Annual Conference

Join HIMSS at Health 2.0 Annual Conference in Silicon Valley this September 16-18, 2019 as they announce the finalists for UCSF Digital Health Awards. See the full spectrum of early-stage tech, highly-vetted startups, top investors, patient-dedicated programs, policy-focused dialogues, and authentic provider perspectives fueling the next frontier of healthcare. Save $200 on your registration* with discount code: HIMSSchapter200.

*Must register as regular attendee category for full 2-day pass; not applicable for 1-day pass. Not applicable for refunds on previously confirmed registrations.

TAKE ACTION: Data: Elemental to Health

HIMSS is leading a new campaign with the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL), Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE), and National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems (NAPHSIS) to support legislative efforts in the House and Senate to improve public health data systems – Data: Elemental to Health.

Our nation’s public health data systems are in need of modernization to eliminate outdated, paper-based, and sluggish processes. New appropriations and authorization legislation now being considered in Congress would help establish an interoperable, integrated public health surveillance enterprise for CDC, state, territorial, local, and tribal health departments.

We need your help to build the public health data infrastructure of the 21st Century!

The goal is to generate a coordinated groundswell of outreach to educate Members of Congress about the need to improve public health data systems. The more people that voice their support for an interoperable public health surveillance enterprise, the greater impact we will have.

Taking action is simple and will take you less than five minutes but will have a huge impact. A prewritten letter has been developed—with the option to customize or write your own—that will be automatically sent to your two senators and one representative in Congress through the HIMSS Legislative Action Center. The letter stresses the importance of improving the nation’s public health surveillance infrastructure.


Thank you for taking the time to take action. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Samantha Burch ( or Josh Roll ( on the HIMSS Congressional Affairs team.

State HIT Day Was a Success!

The Advocacy team from the Northern California and Southern California Chapters of HIMSS came together on May 7, 2019, for another successful State HIT Day. The day was filled with meaningful conversations surrounding telehealth and interoperability. Dr. Larry Ozeran, President of Clinical Informatics, kicked off the morning with a warm welcome and a background on the importance of advocacy to HIMSS.

Jeff Coughlin, HIMSS Senior Director of Federal & State Affairs shared the key Health IT Public Policy issues. This includes the goals of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' strategy on reducing clinician burden issues and implementing a 5-point strategy to combat the opioid crisis. Strategic recommendations on Public Health reporting and Health IT usability were also discussed. Furthermore, Jeff shared how HIMSS is improving coordinated care and prioritizing the capture of Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) data to treat patients in a more holistic way.

While Jeff shared updates from a Federal perspective, Alana Lerer, HIMSS Associate Manager of State Government Affairs, shared updates from the State perspective. Alana educated the group on the HIMSS Strategic Advocacy Framework. The framework focuses on ensuring interoperability across the care spectrum; expanding access to high-quality care, especially among underserved populations; workforce development; and expanding the Public Health IT infrastructure. Alana also provided resources to stay up to date on federal, state, local, international policies. Enter your zip code through this site to stay connected on current policies and communicate with your local elected officials, She emphasized that "while e-mail education and social media is steadily growing in importance and effectiveness, it seems certain that it will never replace a phone call or a personal visit.

It was an honor to have the legislature address presented by Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry representing District 4. Assemblywoman Aguiar-Curry is the Chair of the Local Government Committee and an active member of the Committee on Health. She advocated for her passion for increasing access for Telehealth in rural areas by spreading the availability of internet access.

Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry

Next, Dr. Steven Lane, Sutter Health Clinical Informatics Director, focused on the many levels of interoperability successes from state to national networks. California Interoperability successes include EMS-hospital exchange for pre-hospital care coordination; and disaster access via Patient Unified Lookup System for Emergencies (PULSE). On a National level, Dr. Lane shared a background on eHealth Exchange, CommonWell, and Epic Care Everywhere. Dr. Lane also educated us on Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®) which allows for the exchange of targeted data via Application Programming Interfaces. Early successes from FHIR® include consumer-direct exchange such as the CARIN Alliance and Apple Health Records; as well as, payer-provider exchange like the Da Vinci Project. He ended with remarks and exchanged purposes under the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA). Purposes include treatment, individual access, and benefits determination to name a few. More information can be found by visiting

A presentation on telehealth was provided by Mei Wa Kwong, JD, Center for Connected Health Policy Executive Director. Mei gave a brief background on the Center for Connected Health Policy, which is a public interest organization that focuses on advancing telehealth policies to improved health outcomes and health equity. Mei shared the work CCHP is doing with the National Telehealth Policy Resource Center and projects on telehealth at the state and federal levels. These include identifying barriers to telehealth adoption and facilitating decision-making through policy briefs, educational reports, and multi-sector coalitions and forums. In addition, CCHP is working on e-Consult sustainability and State Telehealth reimbursement policies report.

Before breaking into groups for the legislative visits, Dr. Ozeran prepared the team with suggestions when visiting the offices of the Assembly members. We concluded our afternoon with over 20 legislative visits at the State Capitol. We met with legislators, their staffers, and their political consultants to ask for their support for three specific bills related to Telehealth:

  • Support AB 744, if amended, to ensure patients are informed about their options and expand the availability of telehealth services to all patients in need.
  • Support AB 1494, to ensure that patients in need of care during an emergency have access to clinical care when it may not be possible to get from where they are to visit a caregiver in person.
  • Support AB 1676, to enable children, pregnant and post-partum women to obtain mental health services remotely when and where they need it.

If you are interested in advocacy, joining HIMSS or want more information on supporting the bills above, please contact:

    • Larry Ozeran: (HIMSS Northern California Chapter)

    • Sarah Richardson: (HIMSS Southern California Chapter)

AB 744 and AB 1494 have made some progress and moving from the assembly over to the senate since our Health IT day!


Pain Management Inter-Agency Task Force Releases Report

Key Takeaway: The Pain Management Task Force, a 29-member, HHS-led initiative that included a mix of federal officials and specialists, released their Pain Management Best Practices report last month.

Why It Matters: Considering the ongoing opioid crisis, government agencies convened the task force. The task force mandate was to identify gaps, inconsistencies and updates and to make recommendations for best practices for managing acute and chronic pain.

The report shows prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) may contain errors and should not be used to cut off patients from opioid prescriptions without consultations to determine whether the move is appropriate. The report included detailed findings and outlines ways clinicians can address combating the opioid crisis and manage their patients’ pain.

Direct Liability of Business Associates Fact Sheet

Key Takeaway: OCR has published a fact sheet detailing “Direct Liability of Business Associates,” providing clarity around their responsibilities.

Why It Matters: As set forth in the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) and OCR’s 2013 final rule, the burden for protecting patient information falls largely on covered entities. However, business associates have responsibilities, too. Business associates are directly liable for HIPAA violations as follows:

  1. Failure to provide the Secretary with records and compliance reports; cooperate with complaint investigations and compliance reviews; and permit access by the Secretary to information, including protected health information (PHI), pertinent to determining compliance.
  2. Taking any retaliatory action against any individual or other person for filing a HIPAA complaint, participating in an investigation or other enforcement process, or opposing an act or practice that is unlawful under the HIPAA Rules.
  3. Failure to comply with the requirements of the Security Rule.
  4. Failure to provide breach notification to a covered entity or another business associate.
  5. Impermissible uses and disclosures of PHI.
  6. Failure to disclose a copy of electronic PHI (ePHI) to either the covered entity, the individual, or the individual’s designee (whichever is specified in the business associate agreement) to satisfy a covered entity’s obligations regarding the form and format, and the time and manner of access under 45 C.F.R. §§ 164.524(c)(2)(ii) and 3(ii), respectively.
  7. Failure to make reasonable efforts to limit PHI to the minimum necessary to accomplish the intended purpose of the use, disclosure or request.
  8. Failure, in certain circumstances, to provide an accounting of disclosures.
  9. Failure to enter into business associate agreements with subcontractors that create or receive PHI on their behalf, and failure to comply with the implementation specifications for such agreements.

Failure to take reasonable steps to address a material breach or violation of the subcontractor’s business associate agreement.


HHS Plans to Issue Stark and Anti-Kickback Rules This Summer

Key Takeaway: The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) aims to release proposed rules amending the physician self-referral (Stark Law) regulations and safe harbors under the anti-kickback statute (AKS) by July.

Why It Matters: The Stark Law and AKS are two barriers to allowing providers to coordinate care and improve patient outcomes. Last year, HHS put out a request for information on these two federal policies. We hope the Center Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) creates or adapts compensation exceptions to the Stark Law to enable hospitals and physicians to coordinate care and improve patient outcomes. We also hope HHS creates safe harbors under the anti-kickback statute to enable hospitals, physicians and patients to better work together to achieve value-based care.

We will keep you updated on when the proposed rule is published.

ONC Finds Physicians Are Struggling with Interoperability

Key Takeaway: Doctors have not made progress in sending and receiving data electronically, according to the ONC.

Why It Matters: A recent fact sheet published by ONC details how physicians are not making progress in sending and receiving data. “In both 2015 and 2017, about only one in 10 physicians engaged in all four domains of interoperability (Find, Send, Receive, Use or Integrate).” Yet, ONC also revealed that physicians who used certified electronic health records (EHRs) and participated in value-based payment models had higher rates of engaging in each of the four domains of interoperability versus their counterparts. Although the rates of sending and receiving data are low, ONC is optimistic that progress is being made in interoperability.


SAMHSA Submits 42 CFR Part 2 Rule for Review

Key Takeaway: The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) submitted a draft rule to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which is expected to make changes to information sharing rules related to patients undergoing substance abuse treatment.

Why It Matters: We support amending policies intended to better align Part 2 with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). As the statute stands now, providers are unable to coordinate a patient’s physical and mental healthcare for patients battling substance use disorder (SUD). Aligning Part 2 with HIPAA can allow for ease in treating the whole patient with SUD. It is not clear, however, how far the proposed rule will align with HIPAA.

OMB says the rule is not considered economically significant, and, therefore, is not far reaching. We will update you when the proposed rule is published for comment.

State HIT Day

The NorCal & SoCal Advocacy Teams are headed to Sacramento Tuesday, May 7!  Representatives from both chapters will be discussing Telehealth and Interoperability and meeting with legislators on the following state bills:

Number: CA [R] AB 744
Sponsor: Asw. Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-CA)
Title: Healthcare coverage: telehealth.
Description: “This bill would delete .. interactive communication provisions [in existing law that require] a Medi-Cal patient receiving teleophthalmology, teledermatology, or teledentistry by store and forward to be notified of the right to receive interactive communication with a distant specialist physician, optometrist, or dentist, and authorizes a patient to request that interactive communication.” It would also “require a health care service plan / insurer to reimburse a health care provider for the diagnosis, consultation, or treatment of a telehealth patient on the same basis and to the same extent that the health care service plan or health insurer is responsible for reimbursement for the same service through in-person diagnosis, consultation, or treatment.”

Number: CA [R] AB 1494
Sponsor: Asw. Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-CA)
Title: Medi-Cal: telehealth: state of emergency
Description: “This bill would provide .. that neither face-to-face contact nor a patient’s physical presence on the premises of an enrolled community clinic is required for services provided by the clinic to a Medi-Cal beneficiary during or immediately following a state of emergency, as specified. .. The bill would require that telehealth services, telephonic services, and other specified services be reimbursable when provided by one of those entities during or immediately following a state of emergency, as specified.”

Number: CA [R] AB 1676
Sponsor: Maienschein
Title: Health care: mental health
Description: “This bill would require health care service plans and health insurers .. to establish a telehealth consultation program that provides providers who treat children and pregnant and postpartum persons with access to a psychiatrist .. to more quickly diagnose and treat children and pregnant and postpartum persons suffering from mental illness.” 

Stay tuned for an update in our next newsletter!



HC3 Publishes Cost Analysis of Healthcare Sector Data Breaches Whitepaper

Key Takeaway: The HHS Health Sector Cybersecurity Coordination Center (HC3) released a white paper on the cost analysis of Healthcare Sector data breaches.

Why It Matters: With breaches on the rise due to the high value of healthcare data, the white paper released earlier this month looks into the costs inflicted by breaches on healthcare organizations.


NIST Publishes SP 800-163 Revision 1

Key Takeaway: The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) published Special Publication (SP) 800-163 Revision 1, Vetting the Security of Mobile Applications.

Why It Matters: This revision expands on the original document by exploring resources that can be used to inform an organization’s requirements for mobile app security. It also details and refines the vetting model described in the original document by better defining the roles and processes that affect the mobile app vetting process.

Additionally, SP 800-163 Rev. 1 details how the mobile app vetting process might be integrated into an organization’s general security posture and explores the current threat landscape facing mobile apps.



CMS Finalizes Policies to Bring Innovative Telehealth Benefit to Medicare Advantage

Key Takeaway: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized policies that will increase plan choices and benefits, including allowing Medicare Advantage plans to include additional telehealth benefits.

Why It Matters: These policies continue the agency’s efforts to modernize the Medicare Advantage and Part D programs, unleash innovation and drive competition to improve quality among private Medicare health and drug plans.

CMS is finalizing changes that would allow Medicare Advantage beneficiaries to access additional telehealth benefits, starting in plan year 2020. These additional telehealth benefits offer patients the option to receive healthcare services from places like their homes, rather than requiring them to go to a healthcare facility. Before this year, seniors in Original Medicare could only receive certain telehealth services if they live in rural areas. Starting this year, Original Medicare began paying for virtual check-ins across the country, meaning patients can connect with their doctors by phone or video chat. Historically, Medicare Advantage plans have been able to offer more telehealth services, compared to Original Medicare, as part of their supplemental benefits. But with the final rule, it will be more likely that plans will offer the additional telehealth benefits outside of supplemental benefits, expanding patients’ access to telehealth services from more providers and in more parts of the country than before, whether they live in rural or urban areas.



Sen. Markey Introduces Comprehensive Privacy Legislation

Key Takeaway: Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) has introduced the Privacy Bill of Rights Act (S.1214), comprehensive privacy legislation.

Why It Matters: The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), repeated privacy violations by social media moguls and Government Accounting Office (GAO) reporting a need for consumer data privacy legislation have brought the issue of consumer data privacy to the forefront.

Within that conversation is protected and sensitive information, which many agree includes healthcare patient data. This bill is one of the first comprehensive consumer data privacy proposals, and Markey offers an “opt-in” approach to handle sensitive data. What this potentially means is, for all apps with access to sensitive healthcare data, the data cannot be touched by the company, used in secondary means, or aggregated for third party data brokers without the consumer’s express consent. We expect the House to introduce a similar bill in the coming months.



CMS Publishes FY20 IPPS – Changes Made to PI Program

Key Takeaway: On April 23, CMS published the Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment Systems for Acute Care Hospitals and the Long-Term Care Hospital Prospective Payment System and Proposed Policy Changes and Fiscal Year 2020 Rates.

Why It Matters: In the rule, CMS proposes changes to the Medicare and Medicaid Promoting Interoperability Programs. Namely, they are proposing an EHR reporting period of a minimum of any continuous 90-day period in CY 2021 for new and returning participants (eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals).

Also, they are proposing to continue for CY 2020 the Query of PDMP measure as optional and available for bonus points. CHIME and others had called for this approach, citing unforeseen challenges from implementation difficulties and provider burden in a requirement finalized last year. To minimize burden, we also propose converting this measure from a numerator/denominator response to a yes/no attestation, beginning with the EHR reporting period in CY 2019.

The CMS fact sheet is available here.


CMS Releases Skilled Nursing Payment Rule

Key Takeaway: CMS released its annual payment rule for skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), which updates payment rates and makes policy changes for the coming fiscal year.

Why It Matters: The proposed rule would establish two new performance measures for SNFs that measure sharing of health information from the SNF to other providers and to the patient. This aligns with CMS’s MyHealthEData initiative and ongoing efforts to increase care coordination and health data interoperability.

The fact sheet can be found here.


HHS To Deliver Value-Based Transformation in Primary Care

Key Takeaway: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar and CMS Administrator Seema Verma announce the CMS Primary Cares Initiative, a new set of payment models designed to transform primary care to deliver better value for patients throughout the healthcare system.

Why It Matters: The new models use 2015 Edition Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (CEHRT), support data exchange with other providers and health systems via APIs and connect to their regional health information exchange (HIE).

For a fact sheet on the CMS Primary Care First payment model options, please go here. More information on CMS Primary Care payment model options is here.


Senate HELP Committee to Hold Second 21st Century Cures Hearing

Key Takeaway: On May 7, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee will hold its second hearing on the implementation of the 21st Century Cures Act titled, “Implementing the 21st Century Cures Act: Making Electronic Health Information Available to Patients and Providers, Part II.”

Why It Matters: The first hearing had a panel of industry leaders discussing the possible effects, industry worries and implementation of the interoperability rules stemming from the 21st Century Cures Act. The two witnesses testifying in the second hearing will be Don Rucker, MD, ONC’s National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, and Kate Goodrich, MD, director and CMS chief medical officer at the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality.


July 2019 Hospital Compare Preview Data Available

Key Takeaway: As part of the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR), Hospital Outpatient Quality Reporting (OQR) and Prospective Payment System (PPS)-Exempt Cancer Hospitals Quality Reporting (PCHQR) programs, hospitals have 30 days to preview their data prior to public reporting on Hospital Compare.

Why It Matters: The July 2019 Hospital Compare preview data will be available from April 22-May 21 on QualityNet.

The preview period is for hospitals and facilities participating in the following programs:

  • Hospital IQR Program
  • Hospital OQR Program
  • PCHQR Program

Hospitals can find these help guides on QualityNet:

Hospitals can also find these quick reference guides to help with content preview:



SAMHSA Rural Opioid Technical Assistance Grants

Key Takeaway: The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2019 Rural Opioid Technical Assistance Grants.

Why It Matters: The purpose of this program is to develop and disseminate training and technical assistance for rural communities on addressing opioid issues affecting these communities. It is expected that grantees will facilitate the identification of model programs, develop and update materials related to the prevention, treatment and recovery activities for opioid use disorder (OUD), and ensure that high-quality training is provided. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has recently identified opioid misuse in rural America to be one of the areas of focus of these programs. Apply for the grants here.

Message from the President

By Bella Zaghi, President

Welcome to another newsletter on the exciting updates in your Chapter! Here are some highlights:

  • HIMSS SoCal was well represented at the AIMed North America conference in Dana Point, CA, and made great connections with this innovative community. HIMSS SoCal Chapter President, Bella Zaghi, presented and spoke on a panel on HIMSS/SoCal HIMSS’ work and partnership in the growth of Artificial Intelligence in Medicine.  
  • We hosted over 30 Health IT executives for socializing and holiday relaxing at the December Holiday Social Mixer in Hermosa Beach.

Read More

First Quarter Events: Recaps in Pictures


8th Annual Privacy & Security Forum

Gamifying Pediatrics

Our Latest Podcasts

By Sarah Richardson, Vice President, Advocacy

Why the Journey of a CIO is not Formulaic

In this podcast, Aaron Miri discusses why the journey of a CIO is not formulaic and covers a range of key topics from the importance of advocacy in having an impact on state and national HIT policy to his decision to take a new role back in the provider arena. He shares his journey from provider to vendor and back again and why having a mentor is one of the most important influences in guiding your career. In addition, there is an element of risk and intuition that are paramount in taking you to the next level and ensuring you create an opportunity where you can constantly challenge yourself. Aaron’s perspective on consumerism and the importance of voting to have your voice heard are excellent perspectives.

Forecasting a Digital Hurricane

In this podcast, Bill Russell shares his journey moving from a health system CIO to CEO of his own company and recommendations for traversing the journey of managing your career. He explains the importance of knowing your strengths, finding a great team, finding a mentor, finding your voice, taking risks, overcoming failure, and finding your next opportunity. Bill talks about the idea of forecasting a digital hurricane that pulls towards the center with a lasting effect and where technology sits in this storm as well as the ability to determine fads from beneficial disrupters and why a strategic roadmap should dynamic and an 18-month horizon as a moving target.

Our iTunes Podcast channel link is:

You can also find descriptions of the podcasts under News & Publications > Podcasts on the website.

Volunteer Spotlight

By Ernesto Santana, Membership Chair

Dr. Shaun Miller

Shaun completed his MD/MBA at UC Irvine in 2006 and joined Cedars-Sinai as a medical resident in 2007. He is board certified in Internal Medicine as well as subspecialty certified in Clinical Informatics, and has been working as an attending hospitalist with the ISP hospitalist group since 2010. He was an early electronic health record (EHR) champion and has played an integral role in the multi-year implementation of the enterprise EHR at Cedars-Sinai. In 2013, he transitioned into the role of Medical Director of Inpatient Clinical Technology, and continued to play an important role in leveraging the EHR and other clinical technologies to support quality improvement and population health initiatives in the hospital. In 2016, he was appointed the Associate Chief Medical Information Officer. In this role, he maintains a close partnership with the CMIO to advocate innovative technologies in support of safety, quality and effective patient care throughout the health system. His leadership role in the organization also includes serving as chair of the Clinical Content Architecture Group (CCAG) and is co-chair of the medical staff leadership development (MSLD) program. Shaun has also been elected to serve on the Medical Executive Committee for the Cedars-Sinai Medical Staff, and currently serves as Treasurer.

Upcoming Events

May 7, 2019  |  State HIT Day

Capitol Event Center
Sacramento, CA

May 23, 2019  |  Annual Healthcare IT Conference

Leveraging Health IT to Address Health Disparities

The Center for Healthy Communities at
The California Endowment
Los Angeles, CA

June 28, 2019  |  3rd Annual Patient Experience Forum

Registration Opening Soon

San Diego Marriott La Jolla
La Jolla, CA



HHS Health Sector Cybersecurity Coordination Center Threat Briefing on AI Threats

Key Takeaway: The HHS Health Sector Cybersecurity Coordination Center (HC3) released the following Traffic Light Protocol (TLP): white threat intelligence briefing report on Artificial Intelligence (AI0 threats).

Why It Matters: HC3 seeks to make AI’s integration into healthcare safe and secure. The briefing rolls through the various types of threats with specific examples like “DeepPhish,” a Deep learning application that generates phishing URLs, which have a significantly greater chance of bypassing defense mechanisms. The report contains links to other resources for those looking for more in-depth information.

Release of the 2019-2022 National Health Security Strategy (NHSS)

Key Takeaway: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) released an updated quadrennial strategy to safeguard the nation’s health in times of crisis.

Why It Matters: The 2019-2022 National Health Security Strategy (NHSS) provides a vision to strengthen our nation’s ability to prevent, detect, assess, prepare for, mitigate, respond to, and recover from disasters and emergencies. It describes strategies to improve readiness and adapt operational capabilities to address new and evolving threats. The plan aims to better safeguard the health and well-being of people across the country by coordinating a whole-of-government approach that engages external partners and supports public health authorities and healthcare stakeholders.

The 2019-2022 NHSS is focused on three overarching objectives. As health security threats continue to emerge and evolve, these objectives are intended to be flexible and adaptable.

  1. Prepare, mobilize, and coordinate the Whole-of-Government to bring the full spectrum of federal medical and public health capabilities to support State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial (SLTT) authorities in the event of a public health emergency, disaster, or attack.
  2. Protect the nation from the health effects of emerging and pandemic infectious diseases and chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) threats.
  3. Leverage the capabilities of the private sector. Specifically, the plan calls for developing and sustaining robust public-private partnerships for Medical Countermeasures (MCM) development and production, fostering the creation of a resilient medical product supply chain, and incentivizing and sustaining private sector healthcare surge capacity for large-scale incidents.



Deadline Approaches to Apply for USAC Telecommunications Program for Rural Healthcare

Key Takeaway: Through its Rural Health Care (RHC) Telecommunications Program, Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) provides assistance to healthcare providers for eligible expenses related to broadband connectivity based on the urban-rural price difference in an area. The deadline to apply for USAC’s funding program ends May 31, 2019.

Why It Matters: Complete the following steps to determine if your organization is located in a rural area for RHC Program eligibility:

  1. Select your state in the drop-down menu below and click the "Search" button.
  2. A list of all counties for that state will display in alphabetical order.
  3. The "Rural Eligibility" column will identify if your county is urban, rural, or partly rural.

Next, determine your county’s census track number or BNA. To determine your county's census tract number, you can call your regional census bureau office for assistance, or visit the Texas A&M website to use their geocode location tool. As of July 2013, the RHC Program is using this tool instead of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) website.

  1. Type in your organization's street address (do not enter a P.O. Box).
  2. Select "TwoThousandTen" from the "Year of Census" drop down menu.
  3. Click the "Geocode" button.
  4. Write down the "Census Tract" number displayed under the "Best Geocode Output Census Values" box.

Compare this number to the census tract codes displayed in the RHC Eligible Rural Areas Search tool results for your state and county. If your census tract code is listed for your county, your site is eligible as rural. If you have any questions, email the RHC Help Desk or call them at: (800) 453-1546.


America’s Digital Divide Narrows Substantially

Key Takeaway: The digital divide between Americans with and without access to modern broadband networks has narrowed substantially, according to the draft 2019 Broadband Deployment Report.

Why It Matters: Narrowing the divide between urban and rural areas is paramount to America’s development and deployment of the 5G network and fostering rural Americans’ access to telehealth services. The FCC report to Congress shows that since last year’s report, the number of Americans lacking access to a fixed broadband connection meeting the FCC’s benchmark speed of 25 Mbps/3 Mbps has dropped by over 25 percent, from 26.1 million Americans at the end of 2016 to 19.4 million at the end of 2017. Moreover, the majority of those gaining access to such high-speed connections, approximately 5.6 million, live in rural America, where broadband deployment has traditionally lagged. Other key findings of the report include the following, based on data through the end of 2017:

  • The number of Americans with access to 100 Mbps/10Mpbs fixed broadband increased by nearly 20 percent, from 244.3 million to 290.9 million.
  • The number of Americans with access to 250 Mbps/50 Mbps fixed broadband grew by over 45 percent, to 205.2 million, and the number of rural Americans with access to such service more than doubled.




CMS to use FHIR to Share Medicare Claims Data with ACOs

Key Takeaway: CMS is launching a new application programming interface (API) that lets Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) retrieve bulk Medicare claims data for their beneficiaries.

Why It Matters: The Beneficiary Claims Data API (BCDA) will enable Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) participating in the Shared Savings Program to retrieve Medicare Part A, Part B, and Part D claims data for their assigned or assignable beneficiaries. This includes Medicare claims data for instances in which beneficiaries receive care outside of the ACO, allowing a full picture of patient care. When it is in production, the API will provide similar data to Claim and Claim Line Feed (CCLF) files, currently provided monthly to Shared Savings Program ACOs by CMS. This comes as CMS and ONC released dual proposals that would require insurers participating in federal programs, and health IT vendors, to make patient data accessible through APIs using Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) standards. Separate from BlueButton 2.0, which provides FHIR-formatted data for one individual Medicare beneficiary at a time, the BCDA provides FHIR-formatted bulk data files to an ACO for all the beneficiaries eligible to a given Shared Savings Program ACO. For more information join the Google Group.


Available Now: New Resources for the 2019 Program Year for the Promoting Interoperability Programs

Key Takeaway: CMS is currently updating the Promoting Interoperability Programs website to include new resources for the 2019 program year.

Why It Matters: Below are resources that are now available online:

For more information on the Promoting Interoperability Program reporting requirements for 2019, please visit the Promoting Interoperability Programs website. Additional information for the Medicare and Medicaid Promoting Interoperability Programs for 2019 will be posted on the Promoting Interoperability Programs website in the coming weeks.




Senators Klobuchar and Portman Reintroduce Mandatory PDMP Check Bill

Key Takeaway: Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) reintroduced the Prescription Drug Monitoring Act (S.778), which would require clinicians to check a prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) database before prescribing opioids.

Why It Matters: The bill would require drug dispensers in covered states to report to the PDMP each opioid prescription they dispense to patients within 24 hours. Also, it requires practitioners in covered states to consult the PDMP database before prescribing opioids to patients, requires states to actively notify practitioners when the PDMP shows that a patient exhibits patterns indicative of opioid misuse, and requires states to make their PDMP data available to other states. The measure is known to reduce the number of opioids prescribed to patients. According to the PDMP Training and Technical Assistance Center at Brandeis University, only eight states do not already mandate provider check of a PDMP. Another 45 states already mandate PDMP data reporting within one calendar or business day.


Administration Update


CMS Projects Healthcare Spending Will Hit 19.4% of GDP in the Next Decade

Key Takeaway: Healthcare spending growth will rise at an annual average of 5.5 percent over the next decade, slightly faster than in the past few years, due to the aging of the baby boomers and healthcare price growth, the CMS Office of the Actuary projects.

Why It Matters: Because that growth will exceed gross domestic product growth, the CMS predicts healthcare's share of GDP will rise from 17.9 percent in 2017 to 19.4 percent in 2027. These spending trends could boost public support for policy proposals to regulate prices and boost competition for healthcare services and drugs. For instance, Democratic proposals for Medicare-for-all and public plan options would pay providers at Medicare prices, which generally are significantly lower than what private insurers pay. However, experts say the projected spending growth over the next decade—which is sharply less than the 7.3 percent average annual growth from 1990 to 2007—may not be sufficiently alarming to spur politically thorny policy changes. Healthcare costs will continue to be a major topic driving conversations.

Message from the President

Welcome to another newsletter on the wonderful happenings in your Chapter!  It has been a busy few months and we have several milestones to celebrate.  Here are some highlights:

  • We started this quarter with the CMIO Committee’s Demystifying Precision Medicine and Current Patient Applications hosted by Slalom Consulting. Thought leaders from UCLA, CHLA, Cedars-Sinai, Orion Health and Slalom Consulting shared how precision medicine is impacting the delivery of care for patients with unique and complex conditions.

Read More

Golf Tournament Wrap-up

By Krystal Di Stefano, Vice President, Administration

SoCal HIMSS hosted its 5th Annual Charity Golf Tournament on October 26th, 2018, at Oak Creek Golf Club. It was a beautiful day in Irvine and a perfect day for golf! SoCal HIMSS and Dr. William Feaster welcomed 120 golfers all in support of the Orange County Ronald McDonald House (OCRMH). With spirits high, golfers enjoyed a plethora of food, drinks and prizes throughout the day.

Thanks to all our golfers and volunteers, as well as our generous sponsors and vendors, in supporting the OCRMH! This tournament serves as SoCal HIMSS’s only charity fundraiser of the year, all the proceeds are going to help continue the mission of the OCRMH to provide comfort, care and support to children and families in Southern California.

Read More

Podcasts on iTunes

By Sarah Richardson, Vice President, Advocacy

Our podcast channel debuted just over a year ago and has been a great success. Our iTunes Podcast channel link is:

Listen in to the two most recent programs:

Relentless Prioritization

In this podcast, Drex DeFord discusses the necessity of relentless prioritization when it comes to delivering the core components of infrastructure, applications, knowledge management, and cybersecurity. He shares how governance is the true driver of this and how through a developed and trusted partnership, IT creates the ability for clinicians, business owners, and ultimately the CEO to own the enterprise portfolio. Some bureaucracy is necessary and making tough decisions should be slightly painful. Yet when the culture aligns a process to deliver true shared decision making, great feats can be accomplished.

A Conversation with Finland and how they are Shaping the Worldwide Health Care Landscape

In this podcast, Suvi Aherto discusses Finland as the host of HIMSS Europe beginning in 2019 and why Finland is interesting when it comes to IT in health care including their approach to policy, efficacy, quality and outcomes. Suvi shares the paths Finland has chosen from universal health care via combination of public and private providers as well leading research in isolated gene pools.

Event Recap:  2018 Women in Health IT Symposium

By Bella Zaghi, President

On the evening of November 28, forty women working in health IT came together for SoCal HIMSS kickoff Women in Health IT symposium and dinner event, "How did we get here? The journey and views of women in technology."

The event featured a sit-down dinner, networking opportunities and a panel session moderated by Bella Zaghi, President of SoCal HIMSS and chair for the evening’s event. The three female health IT executives on the panel were

Sarah Richardson, CIO at Davita Medical Group and VP of Advocacy for SoCal HIMSS

Despina Hopkins, Area CIO at Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Past President of SoCal HIMSS

Kara Marx, VP of Information Systems at Sharp Healthcare, also named one of the top 20 powerful women in health IT by health data management

The three speakers shared their diverse perspectives and experiences and brought a component that, as one guest stated, was missing for her 30 years in the industry, the human element. Besides speaking to their journey, the direction the industry is going and advice, they revealed their personal struggles, lessons and how they lead by example.

Read More

2018 CMIO Committee Event Recap

By Alan S. Young, MD MBA PMP, Chair, CMIO Committee

Demystifying Precision Medicine and Current Patient Applications

The Southern California Chapter of HIMSS CMIO Committee held its third event of 2018 exploring the topic of precision medicine on October 3.  The event was co-sponsored by Slalom Consulting who hosted the event at their West Hollywood office offering stunning views of Los Angeles to the 80+ attendees.  The evening started with a riveting keynote presentation by Ian McCrae, CEO of Orion Health, a global healthcare company with international experience around population health and data management.  Next, Dr. Alan Young, the HIMSS CMIO Committee Chair moderated a panel of Los Angeles precision medicine thought leaders from CHLA (Dr. Jaclyn Biegel), UCLA (Dr. Clara Lajonchere) and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (Dr. Victor Brodsky) along with the Chief Medical Officer &  Chief Privacy Officer of Orion Health (Dr. Chris Hobson) who shared the latest innovations happening at the local health systems and academic medical centers while providing real-world examples of how precision medicine has dramatically impacted the quality of care delivered to specific patients.  The focus shifted to innovation as three promising startup companies KelaHealth (Dr. Bora Chang), Cognoa (Dr. Sharief Taraman) and 2bPrecise (Phillip Lajoie) delivered their Shark tank pitches to the audience to showcase how precision medicine is being used to tackle challenging problems in surgery, autism and pharmacogenomics. Finally, the closing keynote by Dr. Hal Yee, Chief Medical Officer of L.A. County Department of Health Services provided some practical guidance and key considerations to keep in mind to mitigate potential risks of innovation as the healthcare industry forges ahead with the various applications of precision medicine. This event was the first of its kind for the So Cal HIMSS Chapter and gave its members a unique educational and networking experience.

Volunteer Spotlight: Bridgette Page

By Ernesto Santana, Chair, Membership Committee

Bridgette is an Associate IT Consultant at Kaiser Permanente Orange County where she started as a graduate student intern and now works closely with physicians and senior leadership across local, regional, and national KP technology projects to enable the company's digital transformation. She grew up in El Paso, TX and moved to San Diego early in life. She went on to pursue a degree in Sociology at UC Santa Barbara and most recently completed a Master’s degree in healthcare informatics at National University. Bridgette first discovered an interest in a career in healthcare while working as a recruiter at AMN Healthcare. Due to family history, she's keenly passionate about solving the barriers to prevent and ultimately cure diabetes, specifically, with the use of remote patient monitoring. Bridgette brings great enthusiasm to the SoCal Chapter and has volunteered at HIMSS18 Global Conference as well as the HIMSS SoCal CIO Forum this year. She's always interested in getting involved and networking with others so feel free to find her on LinkedIn!

Upcoming Events

December 20 - Holiday Social Mixer

February 11 - Chapter Reception at HIMSS19

March 12 - 8th Annual Privacy & Security Forum

May 23 - Annual Healthcare IT Conference

June 28 - 3rd Annual Patient Experience Forum


Assessing The Value Of Your Community Health Information Exchange

By Vince Silvaer

If rewritten today, the Hippocratic Oath would likely include the use of technology to its fullest extent, and as reasonably possible, to protect and serve the lives of patients. Community health information exchanges (HIEs) are quickly moving to the center of local health care ecosystems.

Communities are not merely defined by geography—they are shaped by common aims and pursuits that arise from sharing ideas, information, and other resources.

The term Health Information Exchange or HIE is now commonplace within health care settings and refers to an infrastructure built to support electronic transmission of health care-related data among medical facilities, and the companies that oversee and govern the exchange of this data.

Read More

Changes to New California Privacy Law Exempts Some Healthcare Organizations

By David Holtzman

Much has been written about the potential impacts that the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CaCPA) could make on health care organizations and their business partners. The California legislature quickly passed an amendment and technical correction that rolled back some of CaCPA’s provisions exempting data that is regulated by the HIPAA privacy standards and the Common Rule, sparing some health care businesses from CaCPA’s requirements.

CaCPA requires that starting in January 2020, businesses that have some role in the processing personal information of California residents must provide a long list of privacy rights, including a notice of privacy policies, the right to request an accounting of disclosures, the right of access to their personal information, and to have it deleted. CaCPA defines these terms very broadly and the act will apply to many businesses throughout the U.S. that collect the personal information of California residents through a physical or digital presence in the state.

Read More

IoT Security: How to Effectively Manage Endpoint Device Security

By John Nye

IoT security is one of the most concerning and critical issues that we in healthcare face on a daily basis. All industries are affected by IoT devices threatening the integrity of their network with consumer “smart” devices and industrial control systems (ICS) being common endpoints in all networks. For some reason that I have not yet been able to pin down, almost everyone has been ignoring the dangerous little devices they have on their networks and this negligence has caused countless breaches and is certain to be the cause of many more to come.

Healthcare’s Perfect Storm

Healthcare, on the other hand, is sitting in the middle of the perfect storm of danger because, in addition to the basic IoT and ICS systems, they also have biomedical equipment. The differences are minimal between these categories. Consumer-grade IoT devices are designed to work easily with little to no setup. However, this simplification directly negates the ability to secure these devices. One simply cannot have secure and simple in the same device; they are “warring” principles. Sadly, and despite the massive difference in cost, biomedical equipment is almost exclusively built on the same principle: make it as easy as possible to set up, therefore effectively making these devices no more secure than a connected toaster from a big box store.

Read More

Message from the President

Hi Everyone!

Welcome to Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Southern California Chapter website. We are glad that you have reached your premier destination for all things HIMSS Southern California! Our membership spans Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Imperial, Kern, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties with over 3,000 members.

HIMSS enters its 57th year in operation with over 64,000 individual members and about 2/3 in healthcare. HIMSS has truly set the standard for healthcare information systems, particularly with providing exceptional educational content, networking, advocacy, and many other value-added services surrounding privacy and security, patient engagement, and clinical informatics.

Read More

Call for AAC Committee Volunteers

By Thao Tran, Chair, Academic Alliance Community

Do you want to combine practice and theory behind data sets to transform from an information society to a knowledge society?

Do you want to develop your leadership skills by volunteering at HIMSS events?

Do you want to share innovative ideas to capture students’ interest in health IT?

Do you have an interest in reaching out to students to  provide scholarship, mentorship, and internship opportunities to students and early-career professionals

AAC works in collaboration with several committees including Programs and Advocacy to bring students a holistic perspective on the impact of data in healthcare. Knowing current health IT legislation and how to interpret data is a must to succeed in healthcare!

Examples of areas for early-career professionals to get involved include the Annual HIT Conference at California Endowment, State HIT Advocacy Day in Sacramento and many more!

Contact us at if you are interested in joining our AAC Volunteer Committee. This is a great opportunity for you to know about the HIMSS SoCal Chapter and what we are doing to bridge theory to practice.

Past AAC Volunteers: Did you get the invite to our Appreciation Dinner? Click here for info

Patient Experience Forum

By Clark Kegley, Chair, Patient Experience Forum

The 2nd Annual Patient Experience Forum was held on June 29 at the La Jolla Marriott. The theme for this year’s event was “From the Patient’s Perspective.” The planning committee kept this perspective top of mind as we planned out the day.

As our chapter always does, we reviewed carefully the attendee surveys from last year’s inaugural event to make adjustments that would add value to our members and other attendees. It is often said that a HIMSS chapter is defined by the programs they present and the value they provide to the membership. The planning committee did a fantastic job developing the program accordingly.

Read More

Our Latest Podcast is Available!

The iTunes Podcast channel link is:

Current State of Healthcare Cybersecurity - Threats, Breaches, Challenges, and How You Can Be Prepared

In this two-part podcast, Sri Bharadwaj discusses the current state of cybersecurity in healthcare. With the proliferation of threats, breaches, and endless challenges, he shares the best way to be prepared for today and how to build for the future. Core ideas includes the importance of innovation, building a sustainable budget, and the guidelines for structured frameworks.

Feel free to share on your social media channels using #SoCalHIMSSPodcast

Volunteer Profiles

Read about two of our fabulous volunteers, John Jaymes and Hannan Sayed!


Read More

Caring for Patients with Chronic Disease: Why Virtual Care Is A Must-Have

By AnnaMaria Turano, Vice President of Marketing, Synzi

A chronic disease, as defined by the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, is a disease lasting three months or longer. Chronic diseases affect approximately 133 million Americans, representing more than 40% of the total population of this country. More and more people are living with not just one chronic illness, such as diabetes, heart disease or depression, but with two or more conditions. Almost a third of the population is now living with multiple chronic conditions.   

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, people with chronic conditions receive only 56% of recommended preventive health care services. Yet, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that chronic disease accounts for approximately 75 percent of the nation's aggregate health care spending and the related treatment is responsible for 96 cents per dollar for Medicare and 83 cents per dollar for Medicaid.

Read More

HIMSS State HIT Day 2018

by Shanti Wilson, HIMSS NorCal Vice-President of Advocacy

The HIMSS Advocacy team representing Northern and Southern California had a great State HIT day on May 16, 2018. The day was filled with education, advocacy and meaningful conversations.  Shanti Wilson, HIMSS Vice Chair, Western Region Advocacy and Chair for Northern CA Advocacy kicked off the day with a discussion about advocacy and what it means to HIMSS.  In short, advocacy is being passionate about a cause and wanting to make a difference. HIMSS focuses their passion on improving health through IT.

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Do We Really Need APIs in Healthcare?

by Mo Alkady, President at Hart

When I talk to CIOs, often the first question I get is “what are APIs?” This is usually followed immediately by, “why do I need them?” Perhaps, as I have come to learn, these questions stem from the concern of necessity. After all, we already possess the power of HL7, so how are APIs different and why do they deserve preferential treatment? 

Read More

A Dialogue Regarding Health Literacy

With Thao Tran (HIMSS SoCal Marketing and Communications Committee Member) and Tim Jones (HIMSS SoCal Chapter Past President and CEO of Health Nuts Media)

Thao: Patients have access to mobile devices, tablets, and computers yet the national health literacy is still low. According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy, 9 out of 10 do not have the skills to manage their health and practice prevention. What do you think is wrong and how can we improve the national health literacy level?

Tim:  There is a "long" answer to this, but I don't think we have space in our newsletter. So I'll give you my condensed version:

Read More

Subscribe to the SoCal HIMSS Podcast Channel on iTunes!

We now have eight published podcasts including topics on Interoperability, Artificial Intelligence Blockchain, The Role of the CIO in Healthcare Transformation.

Our iTunes Podcast channel link is:

Subscribe today to ensure you have access to all of our upcoming content including:

  • Gamification and Improving Teammate Productivity with Gerilynn Sevenikar
  • Current State of Healthcare Cybersecurity - Threats, Breaches, Challenges and how you can be Prepared with Sri Bharadwaj

Interested in hearing about a topic or being featured on our podcast?  Please submit your ideas at:

Member Profiles Featuring Stephen Lee & William W. Feaster, MD

by Krystal Di Stefano, Chair, Membership Committee

Stephen Lee, Senior Consultant at Kaiser Permanente

Stephen is an emerging leader, bringing strategic and information systems expertise in biotech and healthcare as a senior business consultant for Kaiser Permanente since 2013. He attended UCLA where he obtained his M.P.H. in Health Policy and Management in 2014. During this time, he received the UCLA Fielding Department of Health Policy and Management Leadership Grant and the distinction of the California Wellness Foundation Fellow. In his most recent work, Stephen has developed and led the implementation of the California End of Life Option Act for the Kaiser Permanente Southern California region. He has also led multiple initiatives in end stage renal disease, hospice, surgical specialties, and hematologic malignancies as lead analyst for the Regional Tertiary and Specialty Services Committee.

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William W. Feaster, MD, MBA, CHCIO-eligible, CHIO at Children’s Hospital of Orange County

Dr. Feaster is Chief Health Information Officer at Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC). He came to CHOC in 2012 as CMIO. In this role, he has guided the implementation of a fully integrated EMR for both the inpatient and outpatient clinics at CHOC. As a result, CHOC is both MU Stage 2 and 3 ready and the organization was recently recertified as a HIMSS Stage 7 EMRAM hospital. CHOC additionally was awarded the Nicholas E Davies Award of Excellence in 2016 for utilizing health information technology to improve healthcare outcomes.

Read More

Upcoming Events

Message from the President


I hope 2018 is starting out well for everyone.

This year I’m happy to announce that we have been busy on your behalf working on new and groundbreaking initiatives. When we started FY 2017-18 we set our sights on breaking boundaries and becoming more accessible to our members. As of this month, we have been able to produce 5 podcasts with amazing guests discussing issues that addresses current issues and future technologies. Please take a minute to check it out if you haven’t already:

Read More

Subscribe to the SoCal HIMSS Podcast Channel on iTunes!

We now have 5 published podcasts including topics on Interoperability, Humility, Mobile Device Strategy, Application Migration, and Artificial Intelligence.

Our iTunes Podcast channel link is:

Subscribe today to ensure you have access to all of our upcoming content including:

  • Happiness in the Workplace: A Formula for Attracting and Retaining Talent in the Digital Era with Vicki Shillington
  • Blockchain in Healthcare with Tamara StClaire

Interested in hearing about a topic or being featured on our podcast?  Please submit your ideas at:

SoCal HIMSS Social Media Ambassadors Program

Our chapter recently created a social media ambassadors sub-committee as part of our Marketing and Communication team.  Our ambassadors ensure they are in the right place at the right time, capturing key moments from our events on Instagram (@himsssocal), Facebook (HIMSS-SoCal), Twitter (@himsssocal), and LinkedIn (HIMSS – Southern California Chapter).  Be certain to seek out these members at our events to capture your thoughts and ideas on social media! 

Please join me in welcoming our SoCal HIMSS Social Ambassadors:

  • Andrew Lippa – Account Executive at Excite Health Partners
  • Hannan Sayed – EMR Trainer at Allscripts
  • Kenza Tikito – Technical Recruiter at KORE1

Interested in becoming a social media ambassador?  Please contact us at:

HIMSS Innovation Through CMIO Collaboration

by Alan S. Young, MD, MBA, PMP – SoCal HIMSS CMIO Committee Chair

The Southern California Chapter of HIMSS is pleased to announce the launch of the first chapter Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO) Committee in 2018 with a focus on innovation that impacts physicians and patients in the healthcare technology space.  Chaired by Dr. Alan Young, the committee will seek to engage clinician leaders and HIMSS members with a passion for information technology and innovation.

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Member Profiles

by Krystal Di Stefano, Chair, Membership Committee


Andrew H. Do, MPH, Assistant Department Administrator at Kaiser Permanente & Professor at UCLA
Gary Dinoso, Epic Credentialed Trainer at Scripps Health

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Rise of Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) in Population Health Management

by Teddy Shah, MS, MBA, CPHIMS, PMP, 6s, Vice President – Optum Advisory Services

There are three fundamental forces driving higher managed cost of care:

  1. CHRONIC CONDITIONS - According to the CDC, 170M Americans have one chronic condition and 60M will have at least two.
  2. DISPROPORTIONATE SPEND – According to an article in USA today, 80% of the Medicare and Medicaid spend goes towards top 20% of high risk patients while 94% of Medicare spend is on patients with at least two chronic conditions.
  3. SOCIAL DETERMINANTS - 80% of factors that impact health are non-clinical as per a study conducted at the Population Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin.

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Clinical Decision Support for Regulatory Compliance

by Shannon O’Brien, CDS Product Manager, Cognitive Medical Systems

Clinical decision support (CDS) is a broad term that can have many definitions depending on who you ask. To some, CDS is a black box of algorithms that detect complex, esoteric medical conditions that would have otherwise been missed without the help of software to connect the dots. Others think of CDS as a path to automating routine diagnosis so that clinicians can focus on more nuanced patient assessments. While both of these are great examples of applications of CDS, an area that is not generally thought of is using CDS to help streamline administrative functions, primarily in the areas of regulatory compliance.

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Upcoming Events

2018 Annual Healthcare IT Conference

April 20, 8:00am - 4:00pm
Center for Healthy Communities at the California Endowment
Los Angeles, CA

California State HIT Day

May 16, 8:00am - 4:00pm
RCRC Building, 1215 K St, Sacramento, CA

10th Annual Clinical Informatics Summit

May 18, 8:00am - 4:00pm
Beckman Center, Irvine, CA
Registration Opening Soon

Patient Experience Forum

June 29, 8:00am - 4:00pm
San Diego Marriott La Jolla
Registration Opening Soon



Advocacy Update

Leslie Bruce, JD, Advocacy Legislative Connection Lead and Director, Healthcare Leadership and Delivery, UC San Diego Extension

The 5800 members of the HIMSS Southern and Northern California chapters had cause for celebration when the Governor signed two bills important to the health of Californians recently. They are AB 401 and AB 40.

Signed on October 7, AB 401 enables registered pharmacy technicians in medically underserved areas to distribute drugs and devices under the supervision of a State Board of Pharmacy authorized pharmacist using a telepharmacy system. The 7.4 million Californians in medically underserved areas will benefit by increasing their access to medication, enhancing their medication adherence and ultimately, improving their health outcomes. 

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4th Annual Charity Golf Event

By Geri Pavia, Vice President, Programs

The Southern California HIMSS Chapter held their annual Charity Golf Tournament at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club, Mission Viejo, CA on October 27th, 2017.

The event was attended this year by 144 golfers who weathered a beautiful sunny day in California.  Our Evening Dinner and Cocktails were all joined with our SoCal HIMSS Board Members and Network Industry Leaders. 

The tournament proved to a memorable event which included drawings, lunch, dinner, golf show, magicians, games, prizes, and our own PGA Tournament Golfers on the course with us.

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Member Profile – Featuring John Henderson from Children’s Hospital of Orange County

By Krystal Di Stefano, Chair, Membership Committee

John Henderson is a value-focused IT leader with a wealth of success directing broad-based enterprise business, clinical and technology operations. He is known for guiding cohesive teams in design, deployment, administration and enhancement of enterprise IT applications and infrastructures. He is currently the Vice President and CIO of Children’s Hospital Orange County. He is responsible for the Information Services Department operations for hospitals, physician practices, clinics, health plan and other non-healthcare related activities. 

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10th Annual CIO Forum

Thanks to dedicated efforts and leadership from the CIO Forum Committee and all those who contributed, the CIO Forum was a smashing success.  It was our most cutting-edge program to date and as such, the Forum set several records:

(1) Most registered attendees

(2) Most CIO/CXO attended

(3) Most CIO/CXO speakers

(4) Most provider CIO/CXO attending leadership/speaker reception and dinner

(5) First time ever for the Forum and for the chapter to use mobile app for the event.

(6) First overhead announcer and standard professional look and feel for conference slides and transition

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Podcasting Has Arrived!

By Sarah Richardson, Chair, Marketing & Communications Committee

Our first two podcasts are available!!!

  1. The Future of Interoperability with Sri Bharadwaj
  2. The Humility Imperative with Andrew Kerr

Our iTunes Podcast channel link is:

Subscribe today to ensure you have access to all of our upcoming content including:

  • Improving Collaboration with a Strategic Mobile Device Strategy with Dr. Andrew Brooks
  • A Best Practice Approach to Application Migration with Kevin Torf

"Hotspotting" in Health Care

By Thao Tran, Chair, Academic Alliance Community

Gawande’s (2011) highlight on Dr. Jeffrey Brenner’s hotspotting is a cost-effective, underutilized intervention in health care. Like many large systems, the American healthcare system is not designed to provide care for outliers. These outliers frequently visit ER and ICU for care. They are individuals with complex chronic conditions whose chronic condition worsen to the point where their conditions become too costly to manage [Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers (CCHP), n. d.]. In hotspotting, data is used to locate the outliers, understand the problem, allocate resources, and create effective interventions for the outliers (CCHP, n. d.; Gawande, 2011). Hotspotting aligns with public health such that it fosters a “multi-disciplinary coordinated care that focuses on the whole patient and attends non-medical needs that affect health – housing, mental health, substance abuse, and emotional support” (CCHP, n. d., para. 3).

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7th Annual Privacy & Security Forum

Preparing for the New Security Frontier in Value-Based Care

Please join us for our annual Privacy & Security Forum featuring CISO Keynote, Karl West of Intermountain Healthcare.

We're excited to announce a new venue this year, City of Hope in Duarte!

This year's Privacy and Security Forum is going to be another fantastic presentation of some of the healthcare industry's up and coming topics. Some of the topics are:

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2017 HIMSS SoCal Scholarship Winner Makes Significant Contribution and Progress to Health Informatics

By Thao Tran, Chair, Academic Alliance Community

Antonius, or Tony as he is known by his peer, entered the Health Care Informatics field with a strong technical background. He has a Master of Science degree in Computer Science and over 18 years of experience working in Information Technology in diverse fields, from seismic data processing, banking, and telecommunication to financial industries. He is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Health Care Informatics at the University of San Diego.

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Interview Breaking the Glass with Sue-Ann Villano

By Hannan Sayed, MS-AHI

Hannan Sayed, MS-AHI and HIMSS member recently interviewed Sue-Ann Villano, MPA, Senior Director of Client Services, Marketing & Outreach, at the NY Care Information Gateway. He asked her what was a major change that was implemented within her Patient Engagement initiatives.

One major improvement has been the implementation of a process known as “Breaking the Glass.” This process occurs when a clinician determines that a situation is an emergency and gains access to vital information through the RHIO. In the Emergency Department, the doctor may encounter an unconscious patient and only know his or her name from identification found on their person. 

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Message from the President

Hi Everyone!

Welcome to Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Southern California Chapter website. We are glad that you have reached your premier destination for all things HIMSS Southern California! Our membership spans Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Imperial, Kern, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties with approximately 2,600 members.

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By Shanti Wilson & John Conklin, Advocacy Chairs, HIMSS Northern and Southern California Chapters

The HIMSS Chapter Advocacy Roundtable held a national event at the HIMSS Innovation Center to collaborate and share best practices. Our Northern and Southern California Advocacy Chairs, Shanti Wilson, and John Conklin, represented California. The chairs brought back best practices on advocating to local legislators, building value-based advocacy initiatives and collaborating across the California to support health IT legislation that impacts you, our members. The chairs are incorporating those best practices into the 2017/18 advocacy plan for California and look forward to sharing these with you at our upcoming events in NorCal and SoCal!

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4th Annual Charity Golf Event

On Friday, October 27, 2017, SoCal HIMSS is holding its 4th Annual SoCal HIMSS Charity Golf Tournament benefitting the Orange County Ronald McDonald House. This tournament will prove to be a memorable event which includes: arrival gifts, drawing to win $100,000, lunch, dinner, drinks, golf show, magician, games, prizes and more! It will be held at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo, CA. Arroyo Trabuco is a championship course designed by PGA Tour Professional Tom Lehman.

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Member Profiles – Featuring Steve Garske and Kent Hoyos

Dr. Steve Garske is a healthcare technology leader with over 10 years of CIO experience and over 25 years of technical experience. He has been recognized by the Los Angeles Business Journal as CIO of the Year 2017. Recently, Steve rejoined Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) to serve as Sr. VP and CIO for a second time. He leads a team of over 250 technical associates, physicians, and nurses. Among their accomplishments, Steve and his current team have restructured IT management and suppliers, producing an annual savings of over $2M. They have also created a strategic 3-year roadmap for all IT departments...

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Podcasting Comes to the Southern California Chapter

By Sarah Richardson, MBA, CHCIO, Marketing & Communications Chair, HIMSS Southern California Chapter

The Southern California Chapter of HIMSS is seeking YOUR input.

In the interest of providing our members with access to important industry-relevant topics, we are planning a series of podcasts focusing on the themes most important to you.  These episodes will feature high-quality content from industry leaders.

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A Journey to Self-Service Analytics

By Paul Conocenti, Partner, T2 Tech

We have gone from no data to EHR data to big data all while healthcare is undergoing a transformation from paper-based fee-for-service to value-based care in a digital ecosystem with advanced analytics. Additionally, the rise of ACOs, population health, mergers/acquisitions, and other risk-based initiatives are putting focus on data decision making that ranges from revenue cycle management to precision medicine. Because of these reforms, we now have the digitalization of the patient record and a new wealth of data. This data is growing and encompasses not just health data but other behavioral data from both internal and external sources. 

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Leading the Change from Descriptive to Predictive Analytics

By Rahul Gupta, PhD

If I were asked to summarize in one word what separates the hype from reality when talking about predictive analytics in healthcare, I would say “adoption”. While the reasons are numerous and still being passionately debated, I think what is more important is that the problem is increasingly being recognized and there is interest from all stakeholders to come up with practical solutions.

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AAC Student Perspective

Academic Alliance Community Chair, Thao Tran, asked AAC member and scholarship recipient, Jessica Chacon, for her thoughts on the first Patient Experience Forum. 

My first Patient Engagement Experience surpassed all my expectations, as all other HIMSS functions I have previously attended. What really appeals to me at these events is the diversity of professionals, the enlightenment I gain from the presenters, and the topics that are discussed. It provides me with connections of what I am learning in the classroom setting and what is really happening in the “real life” of health information systems.

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Chapter Leader Exchange

By Thao Tran, Academic Alliance Community Chair

This year Southern California (SoCal) HIMSS chapter president, Ian Slade, kicks off the new year with a unique approach. In order to have fun and a strong leadership team, Ian had a great idea – let’s send the team to Ohio! A team of nine SoCal HIMSS members was sent to the Chapter Leader Exchange (CLE) in Cleveland, Ohio from July 25th to 26th. The CLE. Each year, every HIMSS chapter in the country sponsors the President-Elect to attend the CLE to network with current leaders, learn best practices, and review existing policies to follow national HIMSS standards. The CLE is not exclusively for incoming presidents. It is open to any individual who has an ardent desire to grow with the chapter and learn about the organization.

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Whova Event App

By Joanne Underwood, Chapter Administrator

We're excited to announce the addition of a new tool for our conferences this year. The Whova Event App will enhance your conference experience with all you need in one place: map to venue location, agenda, speaker and sponsor profiles, note-taking, live polling, networking with and messaging other attendees, and much more! As soon as we have our first event set up, we'll let you know how to get started. 

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Message from the President

Welcome, dear reader, to another information-packed edition of Southern California HIMSS newsletter. In case you haven’t heard already, HIMSS National recently announced the Chapter of the Year winners, and once again Southern California was named Large Chapter of the Year! The judges look at a number of criteria including chapter engagement, service to members, communication, recruitment, education/professional development, leadership training, advocacy, and innovation. While I had the honor of accepting the award at HIMSS17, this achievement was made possible through the tireless commitment of many volunteers. 

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Southern California Awarded Best Large Chapter at HIMSS17 Award Gala

by Dianne Baker, Board Member and Marketing and Communications Chairperson

It was an exciting evening in Orlando as the HIMSS17 Awards Gala was kicked off at the Lowes Portofino Hotel. Each year at our National meeting, our HIMSS National recognizes outstanding contributions to HIMSS and the healthcare industry.

Our HIMSS SoCal Chapter President, Tim Jones, was very pleased to accept the award for HIMSS Large Chapter of the Year. This is the sixth National recognition our Southern California Chapter has received. This award follows previous awards in 2014, 2013, 2011, 2010 and 2008. The Chapter of the Year Award is given for sustained contributions to the health IT community in the Chapter's geographic area. Examples of criteria for selection for a Chapter of the Year Award include:

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AAC Representatives Continue to Deliver Outstanding Presentations to CSULA’s Graduate Program

By Thao Tran, Chair, Academic Alliance Committee

In 2008, the father of Academic Alliance Committee, CIO James (Jim) Brady, knew the importance of closing the gap between the workforce and academia by developing and implementing cross-collaboration between faculty, students and healthcare professionals. In 2014, Academic Alliance Committee changed its name to Academic Alliance Community (AAC). Since the day Jim Brady made his significant mark in his presentation to Professor Barry Hunt’s graduate-level healthcare management program at California State University in Los Angeles (CSULA), there has been at least quarterly or bi-annual AAC presentations to his students. This year two of our former SoCal HIMSS scholarship recipients, Andrew Do (’16) and Stephen Lee (’14), Chair of SoCal HIMSS chapter scholarships, paid it forward by delivering an outstanding presentation to 25 students in Professor’s Hunt’s class on February 28th, 2017.

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HIMSS Faculty Spotlight

By Thao Tran, Chair, Academic Alliance Committee

Since the day CIO James (Jim) Brady stepped into Professor Barry Hunt’s class in February 2011, the partnership between CSULA and SoCal HIMSS continues to evolve. The Academic Alliance Community Chair, Thao Tran, has requested Professor Hunt to be a featured spotlight in the current edition of SoCal HIMSS newsletter. SoCal HIMSS have enjoyed schools requesting us to present to their students. Read about Professor Hunt’s contribution to healthcare management and his ongoing support of HIMSS’ presence in his classroom.

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Quarterly Update on our 2016 Scholarship Recipients

By Thao Tran, Chair, Academic Alliance Committee

Students are connected through stories. Because SoCal HIMSS select these exceptional students to receive the honor of winning the chapter scholarships, I have asked each student to provide updates on their progress. This will give a current perspective to those prospective students who are considering a career in health IT or uncertain on how to assist with SoCal HIMSS.

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Valuable Tips from a 2016 SoCal HIMSS Chapter Scholarship Recipient

By Thao Tran, Chair, Academic Alliance Committee

One of our scholarship recipients, Danica Ramos, has graciously volunteered her time to answer pertinent questions that may help early-career professionals or current students.

Danica Ramos, MS, CAHIMS

1. Can you tell us about your transition from being a student to joining the workforce? Any internships before you got your first job?

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Women in Healthcare IT (WHIT)

By Thao Tran, Chair, Academic Alliance Committee

September 2016, President Tim Jones was introduced to Sunny Cooper and Melissa Scrymgeour who talked about Women in Health IT (WHIT). The people who serve as committee volunteers for WHIT include C-suite executives, consultants, clinicians, software vendors, and various healthcare leaders. 

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Sponsor Corner

Ransomware in Healthcare: A Quick Profit for Cybercriminals

by Rob Sober, Director, Varonis

Healthcare providers have always been attractive targets for data breaches. Why? The value of a health record is high. According to Reuters, health records are 10 to 20 times more valuable than credit card numbers. Rather than stealing health records and trying to sell them on the black market, cybercriminals are using ransomware to turn a much quicker profit.

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Now is the Time to Complete ONC's Free Health IT Training

By Thao Tran, Chair, Academic Alliance Committee

In the summer of 2016, the Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONCHIT) granted $6.7 million to seven academic institutions to update health information technology materials and train 6,700 individual on developing the proper background to prepare for the complex and dynamic healthcare system. All online courses are self-paced.

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Member Accomplishment Spotlight

SoCal HIMSS Past President, James Brady, was featured in Becker's Hospital Review "113 Hospital & Health System CIOs to Know 2017" List

"James Brady, PhD. Area CIO of Kaiser Permanente Orange County (Calif.). Dr. Brady joined Kaiser Permanente Orange County in 2013 and has since won the Los Angeles Business Journal 2015 CIO of the Year Award and the HIMSS 2015 Distinguished Fellows Service Award. Prior to his position at Kaiser Permanente Orange County, he was the chief information security officer and director of technical services at Honolulu-based Hawaii Health Systems Corp." 

Upcoming Events

California State HIT Day – May 3, 2017

9th Annual Clinical Informatics Summit – May 19, 2017

Patient Experience Forum – June 30, 2017
La Jolla

4th Annual Charity Golf Event – October 27, 2017
Mission Viejo


Join Us!

Message from the President

Greetings and welcome to the first newsletter of FY17! As this year’s President, it is my pleasure, duty, and honor to introduce this latest trove of information and provide a brief overview of some of the exciting things we have planned for the coming year.  

Now that summer is behind us, I imagine the pace of life is picking up tempo, and your time is a valuable commodity. But if you’ve made it this far I encourage you to keep reading...

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Getting to Know Our HIMSS SoCal Board Members

By Karen Kennedy, Co-Chair Marketing and Communications Committee

Our Chapter website provides an introduction to each of our Board Members. Now we take you up-close and personal to get to know them better and how they got involved with our Southern California Chapter. Please reach out and say hello at the next conference! 

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NEW Feature: Our Volunteers, Up-close and Personal

By Len Rosenthal, Marketing and Communications Committee Member

Trish MacDonald and Robin Wotipka are two dedicated HIMSS SoCal volunteers who play important roles in keeping the chapter running smoothly. In this new Quarterly Newsletter feature, we have the opportunity to get to know them better and their volunteer experience with our Chapter.

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Academic Alliance Corner - This Year's Scholarship Awardees!

by Thao TranChair, Academic Alliance Committee

This year, the HIMSS SoCal Academic Alliance Committee (AAC) is pleased to announce our four scholarship recipients: Danica RamosAndrew DoOliva Ng, and Gina Hernandez. We are very excited about their achievements – please read about our AAC scholarship stars on our website at

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The Academic Alliance Community has been one of our fastest growing sectors of our Southern California Chapter volunteer groups. The Student Mentorship available through AAC may be unknown and is often underutilized by students. We had the opportunity to speak with Tom Mason about his recent experience in the AAC Mentor Program and available resources.

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Committee Profile: Advocacy

By Ian Slade, President-Elect for HIMSS Southern California Chapter

With over 50 HIMSS Chapters across the United States, HIMSS helps connect members with local, state and national decision-makers on key health IT issues. For the Golden State of California, the Northern and Southern Chapters have come together to create a unified voice to better address State-wide issues. 

This year, the Advocacy Committee is happy to introduce its new line-up!

Please join us in welcoming our team:

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New Committee

We are very excited to announce a new SoCal HIMSS committee – Patient Engagement, chaired by Clark Kegley. The initial focus of the Patient Engagement Committee will be to develop a robust, effective program that engages patients and solicits feedback on engagement from the southern California community.  The committee developed a Patient Engagement focus group from within our active membership. The first program the committee will kick off is the Patient Experience Conference in San Diego on January 20th 2017 with keynote speaker Susan Taylor, the Executive Director of External Affairs for Scripps Health. Susan will be sharing a powerful patient story experience she had with father. This is a must see event! 

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Upcoming Privacy & Security Forum

by Sri Bharadwaj

Welcome to another fantastic forum featuring some of the best security professionals from across the country.

This year’s lineup includes people who steer public policy, tactical leaders managing day to day security issues and strategic leaders who shape organizations to deliver technology to healthcare.

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Members in Action

This July, Nish Jain, Co-Chair of the Marketing & Communications Committee, joined the HIMSS APM-I Task Force (the Alternative Payment Model Infrastructure Task Force)...

In June, two of our Chapter members participated in the International Performance Institute conference, “Leveraging IT, Data and Connectivity to Boost Patient Engagement Across the Continuum of Care”...

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Upcoming Events

September 30 - 6th Annual Privacy & Security Forum - Newport Beach

October 13 - CAHIMS Prep Course - Costa Mesa

October 14 - CPHIMS Prep Course - Costa Mesa

December 8 - 9th Annual CIO Forum - Yorba Linda

January 20 - Patient Experience Forum - La Jolla

March 28 - Annual Healthcare IT Conference - Los Angeles

May 10 - California State HIT Day - Sacramento

May 19 - 9th Annual Clinical Informatics Summit - Irvine


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