Q4 2017 Newsletter - 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. 

AB 40, signed on October 9, integrates the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) database with clinical health information technology systems. By enabling physicians to have access to this database along with the standard patient information they currently receive, i.e., add CURES information to their regular workflow, physicians will have more complete information, thereby enabling them to treat patients more effectively and efficiently, potentially saving lives. This is particularly significant given the growing opioid abuse crisis.

“This was an exciting effort and we’re proud to have been a part of improving health outcomes through health IT,” said John Conklin, Advocacy Chair for HIMSS Southern California.

Members of the California HIMSS advocacy teams crafted issue papers in support of the bills and presented them during visits to 20 legislators on Health IT Day at the Capitol. Legislators included Senators Hernandez, Patterson, Nielsen, Wiener, Nguyen, Newman, Hill, Atkins and Glazer and Assembly members Grayson, Thurmond, Baker, Kiley, Nazarian, Bonta, Wood, Quirk-Silva, Waldron, Gallagher and Cooley. HIMSS advocates tracked the legislation carefully and when it passed the legislature, they sent letters of support to the Governor, urging his signature.

“We are continuing to strengthen our voice as an organization through chapter collaboration on efforts like these,” noted HIMSS Western Vice Chair, Advocacy, and Northern California Advocacy Chair Shanti Wilson. “We plan to build on this success and together help legislators throughout California understand the power of Health IT to improve patient care.”

Interested in learning more about advocacy? 

Check out our NorCal and SoCal sites and join HIMSS if you’re not yet a member.

http://norcal.himsschapter.org/advocacy-0

http://socal.himsschapter.org/advocacy-1

http://www.himss.org/membership/individual-options

Want change? Get involved with HIMSS Advocacy

HIMSS North America represents 70,000 individual members, 630 corporate members, and over 450 non-profit organizations and has over 5000 right here in California.  HIMSS supports connecting its members with state, regional and national decision-makers on key health IT issues.  With our political landscape being more divisive than most can remember, advocacy is a bi-partisan effort focused on improving the lives of all through health IT.  There are many ways you can impact your community through advocacy, below are 10-ways to get involved:

  1. Invite state and federal legislators and district staff on tours of your health care facility.
  2. Schedule meetings with members of Congress and state legislators in their district offices.
  3. Make advocacy a priority in your health care organization. Discuss how legislation impacts you and your patients.
  4. Hold educational events and invite legislators to your events on health IT.
  5. Submit an article on health IT progress to the Northern and/or Southern Chapters.
  6. Weigh in on current issues - YOUR OPINION COUNTS!
  7. Attend State HIT Day – May 16, 2018 in Sacramento, CA
  8. Volunteer with HIMSS Advocacy
  9. Follow up with legislators and correspondents you contacted and/or visited.
  10. Write your legislator in support or opposition of a health IT bill.

Your HIMSS Advocacy team is here to support you. If you need help, have questions, or advocated on an issue, please contact us: Shanti Wilson, Vice Chair, Western Region Advocacy, Northern CA HIMSS Advocacy Chair - scw@freedassociates.com; John Conklin, Southern CA HIMSS Advocacy Chair - 1jrconklin@gmail.com

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