Summer 2019 Newsletter - Welcome from the President

Hello to our HIMSS SoCal community! I’m excited to kick off my HIMSS SoCal Presidency for the 2019 – 2020 term. First, thank you all for the support you have shown our organization and specifically our Chapter throughout the years. We’re glad you are here and continuing to attend our Health IT events while promoting initiatives that are important to healthcare and ultimately patients worldwide.

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) was organized in 1961 as the Hospital Management Systems Society (HMSS), an independent, unincorporated, nonprofit, voluntary association of individuals. HMSS was founded on the thesis that an organized exchange of experience among members and other interested parties could promote a better understanding of the principles underlying hospital management systems, and could develop new principles for improving the skills of the person who directs hospital programs and the practitioner who analyzes, designs, or improves hospital systems. The purpose of the Society as stated in the original constitution was “to promote the continual improvement of hospital management systems through organized programs of research, education, and professional practice.”

Today, HIMSS still stands for those basic principles and more. One of my focus areas is the use of IT to promote patient engagement and improve patient experience. In order for this to be a success, health IT organizations must keep the clinicians involved in the products and services they develop. Ultimately, it is the physicians, nurses, pharmacists, technicians and assistants who are most likely to be the end point contact for the patient. Healthcare professionals must be part of the process through all stages of development. This method of giving clinicians a voice through product development will not only be more cost effective for the organization but help to truly individualize patient care. Our board and committee chairs include not only IT professionals, but also physicians, nurses and pharmacists who continue to show the importance of diverse healthcare providers partnering with IT specialists. While working together with professionals across the healthcare field, I am confident that the HIMSS SoCal Chapter will have even more meaningful and lasting impact on the patient experience.

As we work toward the shared goal of improving patient care, we must emphasize the importance of interoperability. In order to optimize the health of individuals and populations around the world, we must improve the ability for different information systems, devices or applications to connect within and across organizational boundaries to access, exchange and cooperatively use data. Patients with multiple comorbidities are cared for by a multitude of physicians that may not all be part of the same health system. Interoperability amongst health systems and organizations will allow providers to access patient data across the care continuum, which will facilitate decision-making and whole-person care.

In the coming year, we’ll continue to have events focused on these and other topics important to our community. I’m only as strong as the team around me, and I’m lucky to be supported by an amazing group of individuals. In this newsletter you’ll meet our dedicated team and find out why being part of HIMSS is important to us. We are all looking forward to seeing you at our upcoming events.

I’m excited to be your HIMSS SoCal Chapter President in 2019 – 2020. We’ll again be applying for Large Chapter of the Year, and we look forward to reclaiming our title. Thank you for being a HIMSS SoCal member!


Karen P. Kennedy, MBA RN
HIMSS SoCal President, 2019 - 2020