About HIMSS - Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about HIMSS and Its Members

What is HIMSS?
HIMSS is a global, cause-based, not-for-profit organization focused on better health through information technology (IT). HIMSS leads efforts to optimize health engagements and care outcomes using information technology. HIMSS, headquartered in Chicago, serves the global health IT community with additional offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

How long has HIMSS existed?
HIMSS celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2011.  HIMSS was founded at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Who belongs to HIMSS?
HIMSS encompasses more than 52,000 individuals, of which more than two-thirds work in healthcare provider, governmental and not-for-profit organizations across the globe, plus over 600 corporations and 250 not-for-profit partner organizations, that share this cause. 

Anyone who wants to improve health through IT is welcome to join HIMSS.

Who leads HIMSS?
HIMSS is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors—a group of HIMSS members elected by the membership.

Where do HIMSS’ revenues come from?
HIMSS' revenue comes from exhibitions, educational events, data and publication sales, memberships, advertising and others.  This revenue is used to equip stakeholders with the education, knowledge, tools and resources they need to transform healthcare where they work and live. Each year for the past decade, HIMSS has annually published more than 200 new, member-centric resources and hosted many education programs both nationally and regionally through our chapters. You can learn about our latest tools and resources on our website. 

With so many members, how does HIMSS balance everyone’s opinions?
HIMSS is known as one of the few not-for-profit membership associations that has successfully integrated multi-stakeholder members from diverse constituency groups under one umbrella. HIMSS membership includes individual members, corporate members, organizational members and affiliate members. All members are welcome and encouraged to actively participate in the Society's efforts. More than 9,000 members of HIMSS are actively involved in broad-based, multi-stakeholder volunteer groups.  The HIMSS Board of Directors works to ensure a balanced view is achieved in all these groups, reaching consensus among the various member constituencies.

How does HIMSS use its resources to contribute to the transformation of healthcare through the best use of IT and management systems?
HIMSS provides a unique forum for its members to collaborate on programs and initiatives that contribute to the common good. HIMSS funds activities which enable individuals and groups to gain consensus on best/common practices, equip stakeholders with tools and resources to transform healthcare within a care setting, learn from each other and create positions. Examples include Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE), the Alliance for Nursing Informatics, our senior IT executive community, our Annual Conference & Exhibition and our Latino Initiative.

Frequently Asked Questions about HIMSS’ Government Relations Activities

What is lobbying?
Lobbying is defined by both the U.S. Congress and the Internal Revenue Service. The U.S. Congress’ definition of lobbying is governed by the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007. The law says that a lobbyist is anyone who spends more than 20% of their time over a three-month period to conduct lobbying activities that include lobbying contacts with congressional branch officials or their staff and any efforts in support of such contacts, including preparation or planning activities, research and other background work that is intended, at the time of its preparation, for use in contacts and coordination with the lobbying activities of others. In addition, the Internal Revenue Service requires that certain functions performed by not-for-profit associations be non-tax deductible by its members for specific advocacy-type activities.

Does HIMSS lobby?
HIMSS’ activities do not meet the law’s thresholds for lobbying reporting. Nor does the Society employ a registered lobbyist. Each year, HIMSS carefully calculates how many resources have been spent on lobbying activities (such as HIMSS annual national Advocacy Day—in which nearly 300 HIMSS individual members meet with their elected members of Congress), and therefore, are not tax deductible.For the past 12 months, such IRS-designated activities represented 2.87% of each individual member's dues ($5.71 of a $199 individual membership).

Who Chairs the HIMSS Public Policy Steering Committee?
The Public Policy Committee Chair is Martha Dameron, FHIMSS, RN, MSN, Consultant at DWPartners. View the full committee membership list.

Does HIMSS ever forward a position that is advantageous to one constituency or entity (like one hospital or one type of vendor)?
No. All of HIMSS' positions are designed to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of care through the best use of IT and management systems. We encourage you to read HIMSS’ 2014-2015 Public Policy Principles document, which is developed each year via our volunteer committees, and approved by the Board of Directors.