Spring 2015Message from the President

Jim Brady

Wow! 2015 has been an incredible year for those of us in healthcare. Healthcare reform continues in our country, and we can look in amazement at the many incredible accomplishments and great progress we are witnessing this year. As members of our award winning Southern California HIMSS chapter, we have truly been at the forefront of many of the transformational events that have occurred this year. I would like to thank all of our chapter members and volunteers, and especially those that have attended our many local events or accessed our online educational resources. It is a privilege to serve our chapter members and experience the exciting changes taking place in our industry.

For those of you that attended the HIMSS15 Annual Conference, all I can say again is - wow! This year a new attendance record was set with 43,129 registrations, up from 38,828 in 2014 and 35,065 in 2013. The exhibit halls in downtown Chicago were bustling with amazing numbers of healthcare vendors, products, and solutions. Many timely and critical topics were addressed at the conference, including Robert Anthony’s discussion on CMS and the future of Meaningful Use, the looming ICD-10 deadline, and a variety of EHR hot topics, such as EMR malpractice suits and EHR notes. And let us not forget our entertaining and informative keynotes! Andy Slavitt from the CMS shared how evolving technology is the key to achieving value-based reimbursement, the HHS National Coordinator Dr. Karen DeSalvo declared with urgency that it is time to move from health IT adoption to true interoperability, and former U.S. President George W. Bush weighed in on health IT, world events, and his family's political legacy.  

It was a fantastic evening at the HIMSS15 Awards Banquet, as many our Southern California chapter leaders were on hand to receive our second consecutive HIMSS Large Chapter of the Year Award – and fourth award in this category. This award was made possible by the many contributions of our chapter members and volunteers. In addition, our chapter was awarded the HIMSS Presidential Level Chapter Advocacy Recognition Award, once again demonstrating our chapter’s commitment to improving healthcare across California and our nation.  

In 2015, the chapter program teams did a tremendous job planning and implementing no less than nine events, including three large local conferences. I am happy to report that these three large conferences sold out, and an amazing level of educational and networking value were delivered. In January, we hosted the 5th Annual Privacy & Security Forum at the Hoag Hospital Conference Center in Newport Beach.  For the first time in the history of the chapter, we partnered with the local Infragard chapter, and were honored to have the FBI speak at the conference on the very important topic of healthcare privacy and security. In February, the chapter hosted its first Desert Networking Event at the Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, allowing HIMSS members in Riverside County the opportunity to attend a chapter event in their geographic area. Also in February we held our second CPHIMS Review Course, with this all day class being located conveniently at the National University Spectrum Campus San Diego.

The chapter kicked off the month of March with an outstanding series of healthcare innovation presentations at our Annual Healthcare IT Conference at the Center for Healthy Communities in downtown Los Angeles. SoCal HIMSS launched its first ever Innovation Lab as a part of the 2015 Annual Healthcare IT Conference, and many healthcare provider organizations and vendors showcased their innovative solutions to the attendees. Later in March, the chapter partnered with the University of California at Irvine to discuss the “Road to Reinvention: Leadership in the Digital Age” at UCI’s Center for Digital Transformation. At HIMSS15, the Northern and Southern California chapters held an enjoyable joint networking event hosted at the Imprivata booth in the Exhibit Hall, where over 1,200 Health IT vendors were present to display their cutting-edge technologies and services. With space being limited, over 150 chapter members attended and spent a memorable afternoon getting to know each other. Check out the photo album here! Both the Northern and Southern chapters got together again the following day for another fun event – this time at the HIMSS15 Block Party.

Block Party

SoCal and NorCal representative at the HIMSS15 Block Party.
L-R: Sri Bharadwaj, Stevie Bahu, Martha Dameron, Ian Slade, Nancy Hall

In May, the chapter held its 7th Annual Clinical Informatics Summit, hosted at UC Irvine’s Beckman Center on May 15, 2015. This program featured an outstanding set of keynotes and panelists on the fascinating topic of the “Clinical Informatics Journey.” HIMSS Southern California Chapter Past President and Scripps Health Assistant Vice President of Information Services, Clark Kegley, along with Dr. Daniel Weberg, the Director of Nursing Innovation at Kaiser Permanente, and Joseph Wolfgram, the Chief Technology Officer at Hoag Hospital, entertained the audience with a captivating discussion on the current and future state of clinical informatics and health information technology.  HIMSS Southern California partnered with the American Nursing Informatics Association (ANIA) at the conference - another first for our chapter!

Also in May, the chapter’s Academic Alliance Committee hosted its second Career Roundtable Event of the year at UCLA’s Ronald Reagan Medical Center in West Los Angeles. This evening event enabled over 20 undergraduate and graduate students to interact with senior healthcare executives on a variety of career development topics.  All the students that attended the event joined the chapter that evening as HIMSS members! In June, the chapter will end the fiscal year with two final events – our 1st Annual Northern and Southern California Chapter Patient Engagement Conference and Webinar at the University of California San Francisco and Online, and our 3rd Annual HIMSS Southern California Chapter Life Sciences Webinar.

I’m excited to share that our chapter membership has increased to 2,367 as of May 2015. This in a net increase of 76 members from April 2015.  Even more exciting is that our student membership is now at approximately 200!  This is significantly higher than in previous years. The HIMSS Organizational Affiliate (OA) membership plan remains the single best avenue to expand membership in Southern California. If you belong to one of our OA provider organizations, we encourage you to explore this option within your organization, and encourage your fellow employees to take advantage of their complimentary HIMSS membership. For those of you who may not be aware of this wonderful opportunity, all employees of organizations that have purchased a HIMSS Organizational Affiliate membership plan can receive a complimentary, one year membership to HIMSS – that is a $175 value!

The 2015 chapter board election results are in! Congratulations to Carl Hill, our new Vice President of Finance and to Toon Prasertsit, our new Vice President of Programs.  Both individuals will join the Board of Directors and will serve as officers for two years, beginning July 1, 2015. Carl earned 93.9% of the chapter membership votes for his role, and Toon was successful in getting 91.9% of the votes for his position. And congratulations to Sri Bharadwaj, who will assume the HIMSS Southern California Chapter President role in July 2015. 

Bella Zaghi, the HIMSS Southern California Academic Alliance Committee Chair, has continued to do a tremendous job engaging local universities and community colleges, and steadily increasing the number of student chapter members over the past several years. With the help of Stephen Lee and the scholarship subcommittee, four students earned a HIMSS Southern California scholarship this year! Congratulations to Ashley Winans, Leila Cavazos, Nancy Chu, and Susan Cody for being selected as this year’s winners. Susan Cody was on hand at the recent Clinical Informatics Summit, and enjoyed the impromptu call to come up on stage to receive her scholarship check!

Perhaps the most significant progress seen this year is with our outstanding and superb chapter Advocacy team. As you may recall, the HIMSS Southern California Chapter Advocacy team, led by our Vice President of Advocacy Ian Slade, conducted the year’s first chapter-initiated Capitol Hill visit in December 2014, engaging directly with 9 Congressional and 2 Senatorial offices. During the visit, the team urged Congress to inform CMS that it will be to their constituents’ advantage to modify the attestation period for Meaningful Use 2. The cut from 12 to three months would allow providers a realistic chance of complying with this rule and avoid penalties. It was fantastic to hear shortly after their trip that CMS agreed to adopt this ruling, demonstrating HIMSS chapter members can make a difference in advocacy and political lobbying!  

In March 2015, the Advocacy team make a second trip to Washington, D.C. to discuss current issues affecting Healthcare IT, Telemedicine, Interoperability, Cybersecurity and ICD-10. Shortly thereafter (April 16, 2015) the H.R. 2: Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 was signed into law by President Obama without the inclusion of amendment to delay ICD-10. This allowed providers and payers to continue their efforts to become ICD-10 compliant by 10/10/2015, and again shows the value of advocating for healthcare reform at the HIMSS chapter level!

On the social media front, we are seeing an increase in activity with our chapter Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram channels. As of May 2015, our YouTube channel videos have recorded 72,750 minutes of views, up from 38,706 minutes a year ago.  The chapter now has over 1,218 followers on Twitter, and logged over 11,000 impressions over the past two months! Financially the chapter remains fiscally solid, with a special thank you to our Elite, Premier, and event sponsors who make it possible for us to provide high quality educational and network opportunities throughout the year.  

On behalf of the chapter’s board of directors, committee chairs and members, and valued sponsors, I would like to thank each of you for your generous support. I look forward to seeing you at a future program event.

James Brady, PhD
President, SoCal HIMSS

Back to Spring 2015 Newsletter