Winter 2016 Newsletter

President's Message

Happy Holidays from HIMSS Northern California!

I have exciting news to share with our membership. HIMSS Northern California has been awarded the National HIMSS Chapter of the Year Award (Large Chapter). The Chapter will be formally recognized during the National HIMSS Conference in Las Vegas this year.

HIMSS Chapter of the Year – Northern California Chapter

The Chapter of the Year Award recognizes chapters who have connected in a meaningful way with HIMSS, health IT entities and initiatives in their geographic region. We are excited to win this award and want to recognize all our leadership and members for the great work and chapter participation.

Healthcare IT continues to be an exciting place to work and everyone seems busier than ever implementing and optimizing Healthcare systems. HIMSS Northern California has been busy as well providing valuable educational events and networking to our members. Our new board has been busy putting together new programs and implementing platforms to deliver better service to the membership. Recently we have kicked off our regionally designated Meetup events, starting in the South Bay.  East Bay, Sacramento, and Central Valley are targeted for future Meetups. We have also moved registration to Eventbrite to better facilitate event registrations. There are several key events the leadership has been working hard to put together. I encourage you to put these on your schedule today, you don’t want to miss our:

  • Annual Innovation Conference on January 21st
  • Annual State HIT Day at the Capitol on May 12th
  • National HIMSS Conference, HIMSS16, February 29th – March 4th

During National HIMSS we would love to have you join the Board and Leadership to celebrate and network during the following events:

  • Opening Reception on Monday, February 29th 
  • Northern California HIMSS Chapter Reception on Monday, February 29th
  • Celebrate with the Chapter of the Year at the HIMSS National Awards Banquet on Thursday, March 3rd
  • Communities Open House on Wednesday, March 2nd

Please take some time to review the week long agenda and events scheduled during National HIMSS by going to and I hope to see you in Vegas!

Warmest personal regards,


Nancy Hall, President NorCal HIMSS

Innovation “Rock Stars” Present At 4th Innovation Conference and Showcase, January 21st 

by Jim Bloedau and Sherri Douville

As healthcare’s business model is turned upside down by the changing reimbursement landscape,  the feverish pace at which our industry is exploring upgrades to traditional HIT and, more so, clinical-grade digital health innovations is seen as accelerating in the near future. This search for enabling tools is not just aimed at delivering faster and better care, but targeting a much broader business model that fosters a cumulative cascade of patient engagement, improved medical efficacy, and higher levels of wellness.  

Todd Dunn, Director of Intermountain’s Innovation Labs, Lean Startup guru and one of the keynote speakers at our chapter’s Innovation Conference and Showcase January 21st, says, “Attaining excellence means partnering with entrepreneurs in and outside the clinical arena.” This still puts the focus squarely on both people and process with the technology as an enabler. This will require unprecedented levels of cross-functional collaboration and skills beyond what’s been required in the past.

The premise of these relationships isn’t about undoing current workflows or the technology itself, rather it’s about applying technology in a simpler, more innovative way to transform health systems to a new delivery model, one where the best technology fades into the background making value more visible.

With so much funding, requests for pilots and great ideas out there, how can providers sift through the “universe of shiny objects” and incorporate new thinking and tools that will fit their enterprise’s business designs from a technical, workflow and cultural perspective while balancing risk? To answer this, our Innovation Conference is designed to help us understand how the leading innovators are planning, piloting and measuring the success of their technology-aided innovation efforts. 

We’ll hear from the top leaders of innovation thought leadership that include:

  • Todd Dunn, Director of Innovation, Intermountain Healthcare Transformation Lab will take us through Lean Startup methodologies and the “The 7 Deadly Sins of Healthcare Startups.”
  • Chris Furmanski, PhD, Director of Innovation Stanford Health Care will lead a panel that looks past the turbulent days of “app” development for the individual patient to a broader view of care management ecosystems and population engagement that includes Martin Entwistle MD Executive Director, Center for Health Systems Innovation and Senior Director Personal Healthcare Programs at Palo Alto Medical Foundation/Sutter Health.
  • Seth Bokser, MD, Associate CMIO at UCSF, leading the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital and Betty Irene More Women's Hospital, a hospitalist and board-certified clinical informaticist, will lead a panel that explores the current thinking on mobile developments that includes Rajiv Kumar, MD, Medical Director of Clinical Informatics, Stanford Children's Health, and a Brown & Toland affiliate.
  • Lisa Grisim, RN, MSN, VP & Associate CIO, Clinical Systems Stanford Children’s Health, Stanford Health will lead a panel of “rock star” nursing informaticists in a discussion about the explosion of nursing informatics and their role in transforming healthcare and includes Daniel Weberg PhD, RN, Director of Nursing Innovation and Advanced Technology, Kaiser Permanente, Sandy Ng, MSN, RN-BC, Associate Director of Enterprise Analytics, UCSF Medical Center’s, and Jon May RN, BSN, Chief Innovation Officer at St. Helena Hospital's Smart Hospital Project at Adventist Health.
  • Jim Bloedau will moderate a session that includes top digital health venture capitalists which includes Jack Young, Senior Director, Qualcomm Life Fund, North America and fund manager at dRx Capital, a Novartis and Qualcomm joint investment company; Jordan Kramer Dir., Kaiser Venture Board, and Robert Mittendorf MD of Norwest Venture. Collectively, their investment and management portfolios include iCardiac, Crossover Health, iRhythm, Telcare, Misfit Wearables, Health Catalyst, Basis (acquired by Intel), Validic, Celula, Airstrip, AliveCor, ClearCare, Doctor On Demand, goBalto, Telcare and Welltok

These sessions will be followed by our Innovation Showcase and sponsor reception – a great chance to network while enjoying a glass of wine and playing with some of the best innovations coming out of the labs and hackathons.  Registration is now open and space is limited – this has been a sell out for the past three years.

The Annual CxO Event Recap- Defending a Cyber Breach - Are you prepared?

by Sherri Douville

HIMSS Members from across the country and guests enjoyed a day hearing from experts in security at the Annual CxO Event, which was held October 22, 2015. HIMSS Northern California Board Members, Mike McAlpen chaired the event and Julie Winingar together really hit it out of the park and organized an exceptionally informative day. Symantec Corporation sponsored the event and lent the expertise of Symantec staffers David Finn, resident healthcare evangelist, and Mike Garvin, product manager. In addition to healthcare security leadership, attendees got to learn from security stars such as Mike Ahmadi who is a member of the Medical Device Innovation, Safety, and Security Consortium (MDISS) and Andy Ellis, the patentholder of Akamai's famed SSL acceleration network.

2016 is the year of the CISO in Healthcare with increased reporting to their peer C-Suite and board members. According to the findings of the 2015 KPMG Healthcare Cyber security Survey, fully 81 percent of healthcare executives say their organizations have been compromised by malware, botnets or cyber attacks at least once in the past two years. While retailers and banks have been popular cyber crime targets in the past, according to InfoWorld’s Famida Rashid, stealing healthcare records can be even more valuable. She explains “Financial data has a finite lifespan because it becomes worthless the second the customer detects the fraud and cancels the card or account. But information contained in health care records are rich enough for identity theft. Social Security numbers can't easily be cancelled, and medical and prescription records are permanent. There's also a large market for health insurance fraud and abuse.”

It’s not simply the value of the data that puts the weight of the world on the CISO’s shoulders, it’s that he or she is accountable to manage the full technology landscape and the risk it bears. This is a tough job because as one panelist pointed out, “As consumers, we wouldn’t be authorized to sue a software company ourselves for known security vulnerabilities. In addition, a hospital can void its warranty by a manufacturer in some cases if it patches a medical device. With the security landscape as it is, leading institutions are setting their own standards. One example cited is the Mayo Clinic’s own procurement process drafted internally."

Thomas August, CISO at John Muir Health counseled attendees that while he’s responsible for technology in managing risk, it’s really about managing the people, process, then the technology, and in that order.

Beyond technical security risk, managing privacy is driven more by policy, procedure, and compliance. Security experts in attendance concurred that you cannot have privacy without security though you can have security with no privacy.

One common theme among leaders in the security field is that their work entails a range of collaborations with a diverse group of organizations including law enforcement agencies and universities such as the case with Austin Davis, CISO at Stanford Children’s, who teaches in the Cyber security program at San Jose State. We’ve heard that great conversations have continued beyond the event and we can’t wait to see what the team cooks up for next year’s CxO conference.

NorCal HIMSS First Meetup – A Success!

by Jason Johnson

The chapter held its first Meetup in San Jose on Monday, November 30th. In attendance were individuals representing startups, providers, health systems, and recruiting firms. Since it was the first day after a long holiday, we were incredibly excited with the level of attendance and engagement.

Our distinguished speaker, Dr. Nik Tehrani, presented the new concept of Health Relationship Management Services using the new healthcare paradigm of the 5 Rs, as well as the future of digital health. As we have all seen, the health landscape is changing in favor of remote health monitoring and self-testing for patients. Dr. Tehrani’s talk triggered a robust discussion of what that means for providers, insurers, and startups.

We are looking to have another Meetup in the South Bay sometime in late January, so please stay tuned for that! You can join the NorCal HIMSS Meetup group here:

A special thanks to our sponsors: Modis IT Staffing  and Prysm.

HELP OUR CHAPTER - Spread the word!
HIMSS CAHIMS or CPHIMS Certification Review Courses

by Dr. Cathy Coleman

In April 2016, HIMSS Northern California Chapter is hosting review course, testing and scholarship programs to help our members grow professionally by attaining either of the renowned HIMSS Certifications.

It’s a competitive world and many healthcare organizations require that candidates have certifications to validate their knowledge, competency and credibility as a healthcare informaticist. HIMSS offers certifications recognized as the “premier standard” of professional HIT knowledge. ALL professionals are welcome! Nurses and others may also have clinical ladders that support more career advancement with additional skill sets such as those offered by HIMSS. Please see links for eligibility requirements, registration, and costs.

CAHIMS: The Certified Associate in Health Information and Management Systems is for emerging professionals and those switching careers to Health IT. 

CPHIMS: The Certified Professional in Health Information and Management Systems is for experienced professionals and management in Health IT with either a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree and at least 5 years’ experience. 

Why become certified?

The CAHIMS/CPHIMS credential will help your career by:

  • Demonstrating you meet an industry standard of professional knowledge and competence in healthcare information and management systems
  • Increasing your credibility with your employer
  • Showing a commitment to continuing professional development
  • Enjoying a sense of personal and professional achievements


Only a limited number of scholarships are available for active students, regular or affiliate members in good standing of HIMSS national within the Northern California HIMSS Chapter region. Northern California Chapter will cover the costs for the review course, exam or the combination of both. Details and application are on the Chapter website. Deadline is 01/15/2016.

Engaging Patients in Population Health Across the Care Continuum

by Dr. Bob Wilkov

The Patient Engagement committee ran an outstanding Patient Engagement event on June 4, 2015 at UCSF Genentech Hall attended by 300 people.

Patient Engagement has been dubbed the Blockbuster Drug of the 21st Century

The healthcare market is transitioning to a consumer-driven health market that could cut hospital inpatient expenses by 40% percent over the longer term. There has been an explosion of Patient Generated Health Data (PGHD) as well as  care coordination platforms will enable specialized "smart care" teams to excel at chronic disease management, prevention and non-acute interventions.

Patient engagement holds the promise of improved health outcomes, better patient care, and lower health care costs. It is of great value to patients by stimulating positive patient behavior, by providing real time patient education and by facilitating shared decision making with clinicians. As our population ages, it makes it enables family members’ to provide support for elderly patients.

The June event featured a nationally recognized keynote speaker Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, MA (Econ.), MHSA, Health Economist, Advisor, Trend Weaver who spoke about Patient Engagement Challenges & Opportunities. 

Other speakers included:

  • RJ Salus; Director, Patient Experience at El Camino Hospital gave a talk entitled “Meaningful Connections for Patient Engagement”
  • Tammy Richards, Operations Director, Patient and Clinical Engagement at Intermountain Healthcare who gave a talk entitled “Engaging People to Live their Healthiest Lives Possible “

This year’s event will be on April 5 at Stanford University in Palo Alto. The Keynote speaker will be Dr. Kyra Bobinet, a well-known author and speaker on Patient Engagement and behavior changes required for it to achieve its objectives.  The first 300 to register will receive a complementary copy of Dr. Bobinet’s book.

This year’s event will also feature breakout sessions  in the following areas:

  • Patient Engagement / Patient Experience
  • Patient Centered Medical Homes
  • Payer Challenges
  • Disease Management / Chronic Care Management

Leading up to this outstanding onsite event, the committee is also sponsoring monthly webinars jointly sponsored by HFMA and the Bay Area Nursing Informatics Association. The schedule is as follows:

  • There were two outstanding webinars on Population Health Management
    1. Asha Saxena, a Columbia Professor and CEO of  Future Technologies
    2. Rajiv Kumar of Stamford was the speaker on Nov. 4th
  • The following webinar was on Chronic Care Management, 2, 2015. The speakers were:
    • James Kuhn, Computer Sciences Corp
    • Jahan Ghofraniha, CTO of Dynosense
  • The next webinar will be on January 13 and will be on Patient Eng. / Patient Experience. The speakers will be:
    • Thomas Felch, Senior Manager at ECG Management Consultants
    • Jeff Turk, Medical Director for Primary Care, Centura Health Physician Group
  • The webinar after that will be held on February 10, 2016 devoted to Patient Centered Medical Homes
    • Christina Sheridan, MITRE Corp will be the speaker
  • A webinar on Analytics to Improve Care will be held on March, 2016
    • Somalee Datta from Stamford will be the speaker