Spring 2017 Newsletter ♦ 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?
When I was transitioning from being a student to joining the workforce, I knew that being in the healthcare industry will be very competitive. Therefore, I decided to network with IT professionals within HIMSS and within my university. I volunteered with SoCal HIMSS and attended conferences to meet with other professionals in the industry and with vendors. I also reached out to my professors for current opportunities in their companies. Fortunately, I was able to start an internship with Kaiser Permanente OC as an IT Analyst Intern. During my internship, I learned about the different IT roles within KP, and shadowed many of my colleagues. I networked with colleagues outside of my office and service area, and even had a chance to deliver a presentation to KP Executive Vice President & CIO, Dick Daniels.
2. What is your current IT role? What does it entail?
I am currently an IT Consultant for Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center. In my role, I am the liaison between the technical partners and the clinical partners. I manage and coordinate clinical and technology projects to serve and deliver to our business partners within KP. A few projects that I have completed include the deployment of Office 365 in our medical center, deployment of HP Tablets in the Urgent Care setting for Nurse Triage, and establishing a technology rounding program.
3. Now that you are no longer a student and finally starting your career at Kaiser, many students ask, "What skills do I need to know now to be successful? What IT skills are you using?"
To become successful and happy, my honest advice to all students and early careerists is to have an open mind and to expand your network. Introduce yourselves to as many people as you can, because you never know where your career path will take you. As for IT skills that I've learned, I am highly utilizing project management and IT governance skills. Governance within an IT group is very important because it sets the tone and execution necessary to ensure that a project's deliverables are properly and efficiently addressed. Some of the important IT soft skills I've learned are communication, flexibility, and creativity is key.
4. Students are often intimidated about applying for the chapter scholarships. Can you provide advice for students?
One good advice is telling students to never apply for these scholarships a few days before the deadline. One or two board members do review the applicants and often times, a cursory application is set aside.
For students applying for chapter scholarships, I recommend starting the application at least 2-3 month early. This way, you will have time to gather the necessary letters of recommendation, transcripts, and to polish up your personal essay.
5. What type of challenges do you face in health IT or your current role?
Some of the challenges we face in health IT are due to financial or budget issues. However, maintaining a positive relationship with colleagues from other departments and service areas and collaborating with them can dissolve some of these challenges, especially when the goal is to have a seamless organization.