Happy New Year!

As the weather remains chilly while the hockey heats up, it’s a great time to reflect on 2018 and look ahead to new year.  Well into a second cup of coffee and a soothing playlist from Amazon Music in the background, I gathered up some calendars, notes and various recaps and predictions to offer my own thoughts on 2019.

In January of 2018, our Board of Directors were joined by our Ambassador group for a focused strategic planning effort – leading to a better appreciation of the pace of healthcare innovation and the need to continue to support and grow our HIT Workforce Accelerator program.  We also addressed the need to accelerate our data management platform to ensure our members have a digital experience as meaningful as in-person networking and events.

We had well over 300 attendees at our Annual Chapter Event at HIMSS 18 in Las Vegas.  A HIMSS Conference like no other in my recent memory – where from the opening keynote (Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google) to the well-attended Apple event (utilizing FHIR to integrate EHR’s from certain health systems to the iPhone and potentially opening HealthKit and ResearchKit to the application development community), a sense of optimism of living out the recently re-worded HIMSS mission – “better health through information and technology” was not only achievable, but actually taking place on the global stage.  The presence of “Big Tech” (Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Uber, Lyft and others) was not only noticeable, but impactful. 

In April, we hosted our first Innovation event – featuring a sold-out event highlighted by a spirited conversation around the relationship of healthcare incumbent organizations and the innovators – from startups to established technology companies. 

National HIMSS continued the quest to shore up innovation capabilities adding Healthbox (a healthcare accelerator based in Chicago) to the platform.  We were fortunate to have the Chief Medical Officer of Healthbox moderate our second innovation panel in October – building on the theme and discussing various innovation models and ecosystems existing around the country.

In August of 2018, we held our 10th Summit of the Southeast at the Health:Further Festival in Nashville.  The TN HIMSS program consisted of 10 individual sessions from solo presentations, fireside chats and moderated panels.  Speakers and panelists from our Chapter joined experts from South Carolina, Utah, and California to highlight progress and opportunities in security, interoperability, analytics, IoT and leadership. 

We continued our program efforts during the year – events and webinars.  Topics featuring information security and data analytics were well attended as the pace of innovation in all areas accelerated to new levels. 

We’re fortunate to have annual sponsors contribute financial resources and in-kind services to the Chapter as we attempt to grow the Chapter and constantly improve the member experience – realizing our members, officers, committees and sponsors are living in a world of too many choices, not enough time and desiring a great experience – in all components of our lives.

In October of 2018, we formed a relationship with The Disruption Lab to provide our members withaccess to leading corporate strategy and innovation content, programs, and their network of innovators worldwide.

We value this relationship and as a result, our members get a free trial membership in The Disruption Lab. To learn more and establish your complimentary membership in The Disruption Lab, register on their website here

In November of 2018, amidst a year of speculation, Amazon announced the plans for HQ2, giving a nod to Nashville (perhaps the best outcome of the three locations?) bringing 5,000 jobs, occupying over a million square feet of office space, and looking at health and healthcare opportunities according to some.  It’s somewhat fitting to see this announcement in the year in which HCA Healthcare, the foundation of the region’s health and healthcare industry celebrates its 50th anniversary, leaving us to imagine what the next 50 years will bring.   I find myself struggling to imagine what the next five years will bring when contemplating the rapid pace of medical innovation, new models of health and of course, the role of information and technology.

Our Board of Directors and Chapter advisors provided an interesting perspective on this announcement – generally positive in terms of bring the best of consumer capabilities to a region with unprecedented health and healthcare expertise. 

In December of 2018, the Tennessee Chapter of HIMSS was selected “Chapter of the Year” for the large chapter organizations in the North American Zone.  This was a first for our Chapter.  In addition, Tommy Lewis, Past-President of TN HIMSS, was named “Chapter Leader of the Year” – a well-deserved recognition of the leadership, time and wisdom he brought, and continues to bring, to our Chapter.  We will be celebrating these awards, amidst many other individual and company awards, in Orlando at HIMSS 19 – you won’t want to miss the annual event and specifically, our Chapter event.

We graduated two classes of bright current and future industry leaders through our HIT Workforce Accelerator program in concert with Belmont University.  This unique curriculum allows experts in various topics to engage with students (many of whom have significant information technology and healthcare experience) and for the students to engage with each other over a 14-week period.  I had the opportunity to visit with the Fall Semester graduating class and was overwhelmed with their understanding of our industry and their thoughts on it’s future.  Impressive!

Look for the Tennessee Chapter of HIMSS to play a significant role in the journey ahead by connecting members to industry stakeholders, providing industry-leading programs, events and education services and constantly addressing the contemporary topics of interest to us all.   We will also be contemplating deeper community collaboration opportunities with associations and organizations to sharpen our focus on topics and allow the conversation of “better health through information and technology” to reach a greater audience.

Finally, your experience as a Member of the Tennessee Chapter of HIMSS is highly correlated to your participation.  We need YOU!  We need your input on our program events and networking events.  We need your input on the topics we select to discuss.  We need your contribution on one of many Committees we have established to push this Chapter further in reaching our membership goals.  We need your help in sponsorship of various programs and events.  We realize health and healthcare is a TEAM sport – we need more, highly engaged and contributing PLAYERS!  Together, we can live our mission of “better health through information and technology” and continue to ensure our State is at the forefront of delivering on this mission tomorrow – next year, in five years and in fifty.

We have a fantastic Executive Director in Tiffany Madigan, a seasoned and engaged Board of Directors, a highly enthusiastic and energetic Ambassador team and several Committees – all designed to provide and improve your experience as a Member of this Chapter.  Let us know how we can help and improve our offerings throughout the year.

Happy New Year!