Fall 2014Message from the President

Jim BradyWe truly are in exciting times as healthcare leaders and constituents! The healthcare industry is literally buzzing with activity, with many changes taking place. On August 29, 2014, the Final Rule for Meaningful Use Stage 2 was formalized, with much of the healthcare community revealing mixed reactions. We continue to see a rise in healthcare data breaches, with the Center for Medicaid and Medicare (CMS) and the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) responding with a increasing number of planned HIPAA audits. On September 11, 2014, the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a new Final Rule related to Electronic Health Record (EHR) certification. This will give EHR makers, health IT developers, providers and consumers more flexibility and clarity when it comes to certification of the 2014 edition criteria. 

We are also seeing a number of significant healthcare organization mergers and acquisitions, which will certainly shape the future of how care is financed, resourced, and delivered. Just recently, many of us witnessed Siemens Healthcare joining Cerner in an effort to smooth EHR integration and provide a new level of market penetration and sustainability for these organizations. And let’s not forget about what many of us are noticing as the “unintended consequence” of healthcare reform – the rise of consumerism. In the past, many healthcare providers and insurers relied on commercial and government organizations to drive membership in health plans. Today, we are seeing consumers driving that demand, requiring a new level of technology maturity and accountability to healthcare organizations. And finally we cannot but help notice Apple’s recent foray into healthcare. Along with the continued development of digital technologies and mobile apps, we are seeing clear examples of how “the game” has changed in a significant way. And what better organization to be connected to as we navigate this health IT journey than with the HIMSS Southern California Chapter!

I’m thrilled to report that the HIMSS Southern California Chapter is here to be a valuable resource for you, and the many others that manage the changes brought about by healthcare reform. Our purpose is to bring healthcare professionals together to promote the exchange of experiences and knowledge among colleagues and to assist members in their professional growth. We accomplish these objectives by presenting educational seminars/conferences, networking opportunities, and a forum for the exchange of ideas among those committed to the goal of improving patient care through the effective use of information technology. This fall we have some incredible opportunities and events I’d like to make sure you are aware of. We’d love to see you and hope you join the many chapter leaders and volunteers that serve on the various HIMSS Southern California committees!

Perhaps the most noticeable change you will see with the chapter this fall is with our new HIMSS Southern California Website. The site has been completely re-designed and modernized, with the emphasis on ease of use and access using any device. The HIMSS Southern California chapter closed out the month of August by partnering with three other healthcare organizations – HCE, HFMA and WHA -with a highly successful networking event at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach. Our strong program events team has put together another high quality conference and network schedule this fall. We are thrilled to be hosting our 3rd Annual Charity Golf Tournament at the Pelican Hill Golf Course in Orange County on October 2, 2014, with proceeds benefiting the Make-A-Wish Orange County and the Inland Empire. Our CIO Forum event at the Richard Nixon Library in Yorba Linda on November 18, 2014 looks to be another excellent conference.  

The chapter’s Academic Alliance team will be hosting a series of events in October and November at several local universities, including USC, USD, and UCLA. Our ambulatory and clinical informatics committees are hard at work in planning events and including quality speakers in these areas. The HIMSS Southern California Chapter is also hosting its first ever CPHIMS review course and exam on November 7, 2014 at National University in Costa Mesa. We hope our members can join in and participate in as many of these events as possible.

The chapter membership and financial status remains solid, with membership at 2,266 individuals as of August 2014, and the financials showing steady growth due to our incredible sponsors and excellent program event management.  This year, the membership committee is looking to significantly increase our membership by marketing the HIMSS organizational affiliate membership offering.  The chapter sponsorship team is currently in the middle of collaborating with many vendor, provider, and consulting organizations to reach our sponsorship goals for 2014 to 2015. We are happy to report that many individuals and organizations in Southern California and around the country have found our social media channels very valuable. Our most active social media forum is Twitter, with and we have just reached the 1,000 followers benchmark!

The chapter once again achieved presidential level recognition with our Advocacy program. On September 12, 2014, Ian Slade, the VP of Advocacy and I accepted a proclamation recognizing the work HIMSS Southern California has done in regards to National Health IT Week from five San Diego County Districts. Dave Roberts, District 3 Supervisor, was on hand to present the proclamation. The following week, several representatives of the chapter traveled to Washington D.C. to attend the HIMSS Policy Summit. 

Without a doubt, the HIMSS Southern California is on the leading edge of the healthcare transformation we are watching transform our nation. Our members consist of professionals from hospitals, clinic organizations, third-party payers, administrators, information technology vendors, nurses, consultants, physicians, and essentially anyone interested in the trends of healthcare information and management systems. We may not be able to make a significant change by ourselves, but united together as chapter members gives us some amazing possibilities. I would encourage each of our members to consider attending our upcoming events, and where time allows, volunteer for many of the educational, leadership, and collaborative committees, as we collectively influence the direction of healthcare IT.

Thank you for your generous support and I look forward to seeing you at a future program event!

James Brady, PhD, CPHIMS, FHIMSS
President, HIMSS Southern California Chapter

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