HIMSS stands for Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society. The society is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve both the quality and cost-effectiveness of healthcare by way of information technology (IT) systems.
The organization provides professional certifications, both at an organizational and at an individual level. For the purposes of this blog, we’ll be focusing on HIMSS Certification at the organizational level.
HIMSS Organizational Affiliate Program
The HIMSS Organizational Affiliate (OA) program provides education and networking opportunities for the entire organization, from senior management level to junior staff. OA is an enterprise-wide program designed to benefit your staff across the board by helping to equip your team with the best possible education in healthcare IT. The program also provides professional development resources.
The HIMSS Certification Organizational Affiliate benefits program for providers and agencies offers five program levels:
Here are three of the key benefits of the HIMSS Certification Organizational Affiliate Benefit program.
HIMSS Certification at the enterprise level provides many educational benefits for healthcare provider organizations and their staffs. These include:
- Complimentary full-conference attendee registrations to HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition
- Unlimited complimentary registration for Virtual Briefings and Virtual Forums
- Access to the HIMSS Learning Center (Learning Management System)
- Complimentary online course vouchers
- Complimentary registration to the HIMSS Connected Health Conference
- Professional Development Resources
Certification at an organizational level also provides your staff with access to professional developmental resources like HIMSS’ JobMine portal. Professional development resources for member organizations include:
- JobMine discounts
- Access to special JobMine promotions and discounts
- CPHIMS exam discount (10%)
- CAHIMS exam discount (20%)
- eBooks subscription discount (20%)
- Opportunity to become a HIMSS Approved Education Partner at a discount
- Networking Opportunities.
Participation in the HIMSS OA program also provides networking opportunities that can be hugely advantageous in broadening the scope of your organization and opening up new business opportunities. Networking benefits of the program include:
- Exclusive access to the Organizational Affiliate Lounge at HIMSS Annual Conference
- The opportunity to become a partner of the Annual Health IT Week
Additional benefits of HIMSS Certification at organizational level include access to analytics tools and resources, unlimited individual memberships for anyone at your organization and opportunities for your team members to broaden their healthcare IT skill set. The growing trend toward HIMSS Certification is one of many upcoming trends we are currently witnessing within the broader healthcare IT field.
Stages to HIMSS Certification
HIMSS Analytics has created an eight-stage model designed to make it easy to track the progress of your organization against other healthcare organizations across the country.
The eight stages of the model are as follows:
The organization has not installed all of the three key ancillary department systems
All three major ancillary clinical systems are installed
Major ancillary clinical systems feed data to a clinical data repository (CDR) that provides physician access for reviewing all orders and results
Nursing/clinical documentation, e.g. vital signs, flow sheets, nursing notes
Computerized Practitioner Order Entry (CPOE) for use by any clinician licensed to create orders is added to the nursing and CDR for at least one inpatient service in the hospital
The closed loop medication administration with bar coded unit dose medications environment is fully implemented
Full physician documentation with structured templates and discrete data is implemented for at least one inpatient care service area for progress notes, consult notes, discharge summaries or problem list & diagnosis list maintenance
The hospital no longer uses paper charts to deliver and manage patient care and has a mixture of discrete data document images and medical images within its EMR environment, and uses data warehousing to analyze patterns of clinical data to improve quality of care and patient safety
Continuous Improvement as Path to HIMSS Success
Organizations move through the various stages by taking the appropriate steps and improving their score through participation in and adoptions of the HIMSS Analytics Annual Study. As with any EHR optimization project, the path to progression through the various stages varies from organization to organization.
However, one constant across all organizations is the necessity for continuous improvement as a means of evolving, progressing through the stages and most importantly — ensuring you continue to provide the highest level of care possible for your patients.
Want to learn more about what it takes to enter a career in healthcare IT consulting? Download our free guide Healthcare Consulting 101: Understanding the Four Types of Healthcare Consultants for more information.