Spring 2015Showcasing our HIMSS SoCal Organizational Affiliates (OAs)

Featuring Kaiser Permanente Southern California!

by Karen Kennedy and Dianne Baker, HIMSS SoCal Marketing and Communications Committee Members

OAOur HIMSS SoCal Marketing and Communications team is continually looking to expand the value of this Chapter’s communication to our members. In this Quarter’s Newsletter, we are pleased to introduce Kaiser Permanente Southern California as one of our Chapter’s Organizational Affiliates (OAs).

Organizational affiliates, or "OAs"as we refer to these members, represent our numerous provider organizations throughout our Southern California region. To understand why this is important to our national HIMSS organization and our Chapter, it's important to understand what these affiliates are and what they do.

As an Organizational Affiliate, provider organizations extend the many benefits of a HIMSS membership to all their valued employees. We decided to get in touch with some of our OA Chapter members to better understand the value they have received from engaging and participating in their local HIMSS Southern California Chapter.

In this issue, we interviewed several of the Kaiser Permanente Southern California team members regarding their HIMSS OA memberships. During the interviews, we uncovered some great program highlights and some areas for improvement in communicating the benefits of these programs. 

About Kaiser Permanente Southern California

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care and is recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser’s mission is to provide high quality, affordable health care services to improve the health of its members and the communities they serve. Currently, Kaiser serves more than 3.7 million members in Southern California. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Kaiser’s expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management.

Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: www.kp.org/share. Kaiser Permanente Orange County currently serves more than 495,000 members through a network of approximately 6,660 employees and 860 physicians.  For more information, go to: www.kp.org/orangecounty.

How has being a HIMSS Chapter member helped you in your work?

"It has helped me connect with other co-workers that I would not have otherwise." Senior Manager, Customer Service Technology Strategy

"Being a member has provided me with a lot of information in technology whether it is thru webinars, newsletters or other meetings." Product Manager

"ccess to information. Up- to-date information that is relevant." Director, Emerging Technologies Logistics

"As a HIMSS chapter member, I've gained exposure to different perspectives on how healthcare innovation practices are run outside of Kaiser. Being a member has also allowed me the opportunity to meet other progressive healthcare leaders, and to broaden my understanding of how other healthcare organizations are managing the dynamic nature of the industry." Manager, Endpoint Strategy

How has Kaiser benefited from being an Organizational Affiliate (OA) member of HIMSS?

"I am personally not aware of any benefits to KP or staff, even though I assume there are some benefits.  Perhaps KP and/or HIMSS need to do a better job in educating its staff/members on the membership benefits." 

"Employees at Kaiser get FREE membership which is great as it allows employees to stay abreast with what is going on with healthcare technology."  

"Being an OA organization gives access to Kaiser Permanente employees. We have access to the education and programs. Plus we have access to others in Health IT, this networking offers additional learnings."

"The affiliate program equips us with quality health care IT education, as well as providing professional development, networking opportunities and resources for the entire organization, from doctors and nurses to entry level staff."  

Is there anything you would improve about the OA membership program?     

"More outreach to members and educating KP staff as to the benefits of membership would be most helpful."  

"Not sure how the OA membership is offered to organizations but as a Kaiser employee, we are fortunate to get FREE membership."  

"I would raise more awareness of its existence so that more members can take advantage of the resources that are made available as part of the OA membership program."  

What recommendations do you have for other facilities thinking about becoming an OA member of HIMSS?

"I believe that membership should be offered FREE to any healthcare organizations so the dissemination of healthcare information will be across the board. The more information is offered to people, we hope for these people to stay connected or be involved."  

"It really provides employees a way to enjoy all the benefits of HIMSS." 

"Make sure your organization knows all the benefits of becoming an OA and you have dedicated champions internally to ensure you get maximum value of the available resources."  

Additional Comments:

"I registered as a HIMSS member in February when I signed up for the chapter's annual Healthcare IT Conference. I haven't attended anything else, so I'm not too familiar with what happens at the chapter level. The HIMSS website has given me an idea of the knowledge and skills that will be valuable if I continue in this field. I didn't realize that Kaiser Permanente was an Organizational Affiliate. I'll need to look into this before my membership renewal is due. I think the OA membership program could be advertised more widely at the regional level, but it might be that I just wasn't aware of the program since I work on a business team outside of our IT departments. Facilities that are OA members of HIMSS are demonstrating their investment in employee development." Business Specialist, KPHC Ambulatory

"HIMSS has allowed me and our team to better connect to emerging technology trends In Healthcare. The national HIMSS conference is an invaluable resource for KP to develop relationships with vendors and co-create the future. Being an OA also gives us some extra benefits like discounted conference fees, resources for staying connected to the businesses we are interested in." Director, Nursing Innovation

Our HIMSS Southern California Board and Members thank you all for your insights and candid comments on the OA Program. We look forward to continuing to expand our Chapter’s membership and its value of education, information and networking to a growing number of healthcare IT professionals in SoCal.

We welcome feedback from other Organizational Affiliates and encourage your participation in our upcoming Newsletters.

Back to Spring 2015 Newsletter