40 NEW CPHIMS, 62% INCREASE IN CHAPTER - Shatters Previous National Participation and Exam Records!

By: Jim Bloedau, Innovation Chair, Education Committee Member and Board Member

​On its first try at providing a CPHIMS review course and testing, the Northern California Chapter has set new records in class size, highest individual score (90%), highest class pass rate(78%) and same day testing (59) nationally.   A class split between April 6th and 7th at the Contra Costa County Health Services facilities in Martinez and the Northern California Chapter CPHIMS review course hosted April 8th at the University of San Francisco, Pleasanton campus, produced sixty-three CPHIMS review course participants with fifty-nine of those taking same day exams - obliterating the previous records held by the Southern California chapter!  It is anticipated that this will move the Northern California Chapter from tenth place in total CPHIMS to third nationally with one hundred and five CPHIMS members.

It was a bumpy start for this chapter’s Innovation Committee authored pilot. After canceling the CPHIMS review class once in 2015 due to low registration and a dismal relaunch that resulted in the original scholarship program closing January 15, 2016 without any applicants, the Innovation and Education Committees agreed to drop the CAHIMS course and pivoted to full focus on the CPHIMS April 8th course and a new scholarship model. 

The new model offered twenty-six review course scholarships and fifty percent reimbursement of exam fees to the first ten members who pass the exam within 45 days of taking the review course – both scholarships were on a first come, first served basis. 

Upon seeing the chapter’s promotions for the CPHIMS scholarship and classes, Bryan Thomas PMP, CSM, MBA, CPHIMS of Contra Costa County Health Services spoke to me about how we could include their people in the training and testing. Because of funding constraints, we decided to have the trainer, Sam King, Senior Dir. Professional Development, HIMSS North America, set up a separate review class at the Martinez site. Bryan generated twenty-five registrants for an April 6th review course of which twenty-three would sit for the exam the next day. 

Sam exclaimed, “This is the first time I have ever seen exam candidates exceeding 30 (the largest before was 29 from Southern California Chapter). The review course for a single chapter also sets the record (Southern California was 35 last time).” He continued, “The top US chapters with the largest number of CPHIMS are: New England, Virginia, Georgia, New York, Southern California, Delaware Valley, Dallas/Fort Worth, Wisconsin Dairyland, Northern California, Greater Chicago, and Houston. After your April events, NorCal HIMSS Chapter should move up quite nicely - likely top 5, perhaps overtaking New York or Georgia. You and your team should be very proud of these achievements.” 

“You guys are doing great!” offered Lyman Dennis, MBA, PhD, CPHIMS, FHIMSS, Executive Director, Connect Healthcare, who’s building a sustainable HIE for the North Bay region of California after hearing the news. Lyman, we are very proud and most proud of those who made it happen – the candidates – congratulations all! 

Special thanks to my Innovation Committee member Jason Johnson and advisors Daryl Tom and Harvey Roth, both past presidents, and extra special thanks to Bryan Thomas and Education Committee members Nik Tehrani (Chair) and Cathy Coleman of USF.  Can’t wait for the next class!

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