Iris P. Frye, MS, MBA, PMP, CPHIMS, is the outpatient services’ manager for the Information Technology Department at Doctors Community Hospital (DCH), a healthcare system located in Lanham, Md. Additionally, she is the architect and chair of the newly formed HIMSS African-American Special Interest Group. She serves on the Maryland HIMSS’ planning committee and is an active advocate in her state for health IT. In her current role at DCH, she oversees the development, implementation, and support of the outpatient services’ integrated IT platform. Her job is to make certain the providers are equipped with the technology tools and resources to improve healthcare delivery in the community while enhancing the long-term operational and strategic goals of the organization.
Frye is a technology and business visionary with 20 years of experience in the healthcare field. Her scope of expertise encompasses developing technology-enabled processes, interoperability, meaningful use subject matter expert, population health management, and physician/hospital integration.
She is a project manager with certifications in health information management systems, health economics, network security, and clinical applications.
HIMSS: How did you become involved with HIMSS?
Frye: My journey with HIMSS began with an education event given by the local Maryland chapter. I joined the organization because it offered a great opportunity to advance my knowledge base and contribute to the health industry through information technology.
HIMSS: What has been the most rewarding aspect of your involvement with HIMSS?
Frye: My most rewarding aspect has been the ability to help promote the HIMSS vision and mission statement. My HIMSS involvement allows me to network with colleagues having the same passion for improving efficiency and patient quality of care through technology in the healthcare industry. Also, being a part of HIMSS has given me great exposure to some of the most talented minds in the field.
HIMSS: What was your motivation for forming the African American Special Interest Group (SIG)?
Frye: My motivation for forming the African-American SIG is to strengthen the bond between the African-American and the HIMSS community. My goal is to increase participation among our current African-American HIMSS members while attracting new professionals to the HIMSS organization. I would like this group to be instrumental in helping the industry realize how health IT in the African-American community can decrease disparities while increasing patient engagement and quality of care. As members of our community, what good is it if we keep the knowledge and experience we’ve accumulated to ourselves? Maya Angelou said it best, “When you get, give. When you learn, teach.”
HIMSS: What challenges do you anticipate as the chair of this group?
Frye: The challenges I anticipate as the chair of this group is to make certain the group’s vision of inspiring lifelong learning, promoting advance knowledge of health IT, and strengthening the African-American community within HIMSS is realized not just today, but every day.
HIMSS: How do you think members will benefit from participating in the African-American SIG?
Frye: As this initiative grows, the larger our numbers are, the stronger our voices will become. This avenue will give the members the benefit of having a platform on which their ideas can be realized and no longer be just conceptual. Members participating in this group will have the opportunity to establish the groundwork guaranteeing a lifelong legacy of the African-American SIG.
HIMSS: What advice would you give professionals just entering the healthcare or IT field?
Frye: I would give the following advice:
- Understand this career involves having a passion and dedication for patient care.
- Stay up-to-date on the latest industry standards.
- Be willing to grow and adapt.
- Volunteer with your local healthcare organizations.
- Seek out senior staff to assist in your learning process.
The first meeting of the HIMSS African-American SIG will be held on Aug. 27 at 12 p.m. EST. Visit the HIMSS SIG website to join.