February 2015 Austin HIMSS Newsletter

Upcoming Education & Networking Opportunities > >

Austin HIMSS Chapter February Lunch and Learn Event - There is Still Time to Register!

February 10, 2015

Thompson Conference Center
2405 Robert Dedman Dr.
Austin, TX 78712
11:30am - 1:30pm

To reserve your lunch meal ($15 for non-members)

and to ensure we have an accurate head count for

meeting room setup needs, it is important to RSVP by

February 5th. There is an onsite registration fee of

$15.00 for all late registrants - including members.

We apologize, but if you do not RSVP by the deadline, lunch will not be provided.


2015 Texas Regional HIMSS Conference

2015 Conference Header

The Texas Chapters of HIMSS will hold a one and a half day educational conference in Austin, Texas on February 18th - 20th, 2015. The theme of this year’s conference is “Keep Healthcare Wired”. This is our 7th Annual Regional Conference and we anticipate over 400 healthcare IT professionals to attend. We are also offering an optional pre-conference activity on Wednesday (2/18). We will be visiting the Texas State Capitol to meet with legislative staff promoting the value of investing in Health Information Technology. Afterward, we will hold a networking social in the Exhibit Hall from 6 - 8 pm. The Regional conference is Feb 19th (all day) and 20th (half day). This event is only held in Austin once every 4 years so this is a great opportunity to participate, gain insightful education and network with Texas leaders in HIT.

In order to prepare for the State HIT Forum on Feb 18th, there will be a webex training session that we ask you to participate in prior to the event.

Legislative Visit Team Training

HIMSS provides each of our legislative visit team members with training to help you successfully visit with your legislators. There will be a few opportunities to have visit team training. You must attend at least one of these identical training sessions to be able to visit with legislators. Participation information for the online training sessions are below:

Topic: 2015 Texas Healthcare Information Technology Day Advocate Training 1
Date: Thursday, February 5, 2015
Time: 5:30 pm, Central Daylight Time (New York, GMT-04:00)
Meeting Number: 929 830 674
Meeting Password: State15
To join the online meeting go to https://himss.webex.com/himss/j.php?MTID=m945ec2e52907e63172c7e03053916459

Topic: 2015 Texas Healthcare Information Technology Day Advocate Training 2
Date: Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Time: 9:00 am, Central Daylight Time (New York, GMT-04:00)
Meeting Number:  921 125 038
Meeting Password: State15
To join the online meeting go to https://himss.webex.com/himss/j.php?MTID=m5a7d00201a10bace03d100612ed7035c

Topic: 2015 Texas Healthcare Information Technology Day Advocate Training 3
Date: Thursday, February 12, 2015
Time: 12:00 pm, Central Daylight Time (New York, GMT-04:00)
Meeting Number: 921 623 775
Meeting Password: State15
To join the online meeting go to https://himss.webex.com/himss/j.php?MTID=m6d3821f1da4ad6aa764c7da0d1798e43

We encourage you to get involved and sign up for the office visits! For more information and to register for this event, visit the link below:


2015 Lunch & Learns at a Glance - Save the Dates!


Session: Building Bridges with North Korea: Engaging through Healthcare

Presenter: Stanford University/Christian Friends of Korea (CFK)

When: Tuesday, February 10th


Session: The Messy Reality of Creating and Operating an ACO

Presenters: Mitch Goldman and Dr. Tate Erlinger, Seton Health Alliance Accountable Care Organization

When: Tuesday, March 10th


Session: Identification and Case Management of ER Super Utilizers

Presenter: Dr. Matha Arun, Medical Director, Community First Health Plan

When: Tuesday, April 14th


Session: Using Data to Drive Action and Outcomes

Presenter: Susan Millea, PhD., Community Systems Analyst, Children's Optimal Health

When: Tuesday, May 15th


Session: The Changing Health Care Landscape

Presenter: Dr. Ken Shine, Special Advisor to the Chancellor, University of Texas System

When: Tuesday, June 9th


Session: Choosing Wisely

Presenter: Dr. Donald Wesson

When: Tuesday, July 14th


Session: High Alert program

Presenter: Dr. Chris Ziebell, ED Medical Director, Brackenridge

When: Tuesday, August 11th


Session: Post Texas Legislative Session Wrap-up

Presenter: Tony Gilman, Chief Executive Officer, Texas Health Services Authority

When: Tuesday, September 8th  


Session: TBD

Presenter: Dr. Clay Johnston, Dean, UT Medical School in Austin

When: Tuesday, October 13th 


Session: TBD

Presenter: TBD

When: Tuesday, November 10th


Session: CIO Panel

Presenters: TBD

When: Tuesday, December 8th 

Advocacy Update> >

The Dos and Don'ts of Advocacy Visits - Especially for those gearing up for the February 18th Texas legislative office visits!

Nora Belcher, Executive Director of the Texas e-Health Alliance, offers these tips for successful advocacy visits:
Do: be personal. You are making this visit to represent your passion for the work that we do, but chances are the member or staffer you are talking to knows very little about your industry. Using a personal story can help make your visit more relatable and memorable.  Likewise, if you are from that office’s district, or can relate to the district in some way, make sure you do so.

Don’t: take it personally. You may be the 30th person they visit with that day, or you may be the first. They may be fully conversant on your issue, or not really familiar with it at all.  Some staffers will even take a topic to its worst logical conclusion, to test you or see how you handle being challenged. None of that is a reflection on you, so keep your emotions in check.   

Do: be specific. State the purpose of your visit up front, even if it’s just to provide general information and raise awareness. Don’t leave them wondering, while you’re talking, why you are there. If they ask you a question you can’t answer, “let me look into that and get back to you” is a perfectly acceptable answer. Just make sure you get their contact information and follow up.

Don’t: overwhelm them with details. Every industry has its own language and acronyms, and healthcare is one of the most complex. Be mindful that unless you’re talking to someone with a healthcare background, most people will only have had experiences with the healthcare system as a consumer. Framing issues around a consumer perspective can help make them more understandable, and improve the odds that they'll remember you in a positive way.

Do: be flexible. This matters both in terms of the actual office visit and your conversation. Staffers have to respond to their elected officials, and even though you may have an appointment, things can shift very quickly. Likewise, it’s not an impossibility that the person you are talking to just got off the phone with a hospital in their district who is complaining about a Medicare issue, and that’s what they want to talk about because it’s on their mind.   Stay on topic, but be empathetic to where the person you’re visiting with may be coming from.

Don’t: forget why you are there. Advocacy visits are very important for bringing awareness to the important work that you do every day. A positive encounter with advocates early in the session leaves an impression that lasts throughout the legislative session.

A Call to Arms: Request for Volunteers

With the Austin HIMSS Regional Conference just around the corner, we are looking for volunteers! First, we are asking for volunteers to help us deliver the letters that will notify Texas State Legislative Offices about the visits to be made by Texas HIMSS chapters, CHIME and TxHIMA members on February 18th. These letters are important and specifically ask for time on staff schedules to discuss health IT related topics. If you are able, please meet us at 10 AM in the Texas State Capitol Rotunda near the Gift Shop this Wednesday, February 4th. You will receive a briefing on what to expect and will be advised on what to communicate to legislative staff.

We also have a 2nd volunteer opportunity that we would greatly appreciate assistance with. A few days after the letters are delivered, we need volunteers to call the legislative offices to schedule 15 min meetings with staff members. The goals are to identify the staff members available and set appointment times. We will schedule a brief orientation for the phone calls soon.
If you are interested in participating in either opportunity, please contact our Advocacy Chair, Chuck Durant, at 512-656-8153. We Need You!

Austin HIMSS Membership> >

Renew today! For as little as $30, you support a year's worth of educational programming  and networking opportunities with our monthly Lunch an Learns, quarterly Happy Hours, and other special events like our annual CIO Forum  with a local chapter membership.  Members get up to $125 DISCOUNT when registering for the 2015 Texas HiMSS Regional Conference and Health IT Forum happening here in Austin NEXT MONTH!  We also provide scholarships for Health IT education with your membership dollars. These are a few of the benefits of membership. Please join or renew today!

Sponsorship Opportunities> >

If you would like visibility with health care stakeholders in the greater Austin area, consider sponsoring the Austin HIMSS Chapter.  It’s only $400 a year.  For more information, contact Shannon Vogel at austin.sponsorship@himsschapter.org.

News & Announcements > >

Austin HIMSS Chapter Website

For more information about the Austin Chapter of HIMSS and how to join, please visit: http://austin.himsschapter.org. We will continue to expand our online content to bring you the most up-to-date and relevant information. Don't forget to bookmark our site and visit our LinkedIn and Facebook sites! Also, look for communications and information on chapter activities from austin.communications@himsschapter.org.

For questions about Membership contact: austin.membership@himsschapter.org

For questions about Sponsorship opportunities contact: austin.sponsorship@himsschapter.org

We welcome feedback and suggestions!

The Austin HIMSS Chapter Board wish you a healthy & prosperous 2015!