HIMSS TIGER’s Contribution to Health Information Technology Competency Development

Some areas of health information technology (health IT) remain priorities.  For example, the ability to innovate, to create applications that connect healthcare providers with [10] or create applications that disseminate vital information ‘real-time” to decision-makers [1] will be in demand.  However, one area transcends all of these flourishing priorities, and that is the area of “competencies.”

The TIGER (Technology Informatics Guiding Education Reform) Initiative has prioritized and championed health IT competency development and harmonization efforts.  TIGER began as a grassroots initiative in 2006. Focused on better preparing the clinical workforce to use technology and informatics to improve the delivery of patient care, TIGER transitioned to HIMSS in 2014 under Clinical Informatics with the focus shifting from nursing to an interprofessional audience. Interprofessional healthcare practice is central to safe, quality, and effective patient care. Critical to meeting this is ensuring that professionals across disciplines have the needed competency to practice in a technologically advanced healthcare environment.

TIGER  plays a key role in connecting the global community to competency focused interprofessional resources. Many of the resources and tools can be found in an evolving TIGER Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).  The VLE contains resources reflective of core international health IT competencies.  In 2015, TIGER began comprehensive activities to compile recommended core international informatics competencies. This involved 1) Compilation of country-specific case 2) Evaluation of survey results to prioritize core competencies 3) Creation of a competency harmonization matrix outlining shared and country-specific competencies [2].

In 2016, TIGER was co-awarded funding from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 grant program via the EU-US eHealth Work Consortium to contribute to priority areas related to health IT workforce skill development, including the development and deployment of competencies around the globe. TIGER is playing a pivotal role in project execution while continuing to leverage and evolve the international competency synthesis project to enrich interprofessional competency development.

Specific areas of health IT competency attainment remain critical today, for example, competencies in healthcare IT deployment [3, 4, 5]. As noted,  TIGER has been instrumental in defining core competencies and supporting the effort for the workforce to achieve them.  Several sources herald the importance of competencies in leadership as the key variable identifying a successful implementation of health IT versus one that fails [6, 7, 8]. One recent statewide study indicated that users’ experience in use of health IT, such as the use of electronic health records (EHR), appeared to be related to the level of maturity of the EHR.  Specifically, results revealed that maturity of an EHR significantly influences the probability of nurse satisfaction (p<.05). We speculate that this would apply to other healthcare practitioners interacting with the EHR. More detailed analysis suggested that competencies of leadership for communication, resource allocation, technical support, training and governance structure were differentiating factors [9].  Core competencies of those involved with the EHR implementation and ongoing maintenance, are a driving force in implementation success [5, 7].  This focus on competencies is the hallmark of the TIGER initiative, and studies like this guide the selection of resources and training made available by TIGER through the VLE.



  1. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). (2014). Real-time vital signs monitoring and interpretation system for early detection of multiple physical signs in older adults. Retrieved from http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/6864376/?reload=true
  2. Hubner , U., Shaw T., Thye J., Egbert N., Marin H., & Hall, M. (2016) Towards an international framework for recommendations of core competencies in nursing and inter-professional informatics: the TIGER competency synthesis project.  Stud Health Technol Inform. 228:655-659.
  3. Ash, J., Singh, H., & Sittig, D. (2014). SAFER: Safety assurance factors for EHR resilience, self-assessment high priority practices. ( No. HHSP23337003T). Washington, DC: Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. Retrieved from https://twu.blackboard.com/bbcswebdav/pid-4241020-dt-content-rid-115384714_1/courses/16FANURS694330/SAFER1_highprioritypractices_sg001_form_0.pdf
  4. Institute of Medicine. (2012). Health IT and patient safety: Building safer systems for better care. Washington, D.C.: Institute of Medicine.
  5. Interprofessional Education Collaborative Expert Panel. (2011). Core competencies for interprofessional collaborative practice: Report of an expert panel. ( No. IPE2011). Washington, D.C.: Interprofessional Education Collaborative.
  6. Bossen, C., Jensen, L. G., & Udsen, F. W. (2013). Evaluation of a comprehensive EHR based on the DeLone and McLean model for IS success: Approach, results, and success factors. International Journal of Medical Informatics, 82(10), 940-953. doi:10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2013.05.010 [doi]
  7. HIMSS.org. (2011). NI101. ( No. pub.). http://www.himss.org/handouts/NI101.pdf: HIMSS.org.
  8. Sengstack, P. P., & Boicey, C. M. (2015). Mastering informatics: A healthcare handbook for success. Indianapolis, IN: Sigma Theta Tau International.
  9. McBride, S., Tietze, M., Hanley, M. A., & Thomas, L. (2016). Statewide study to assess nurses' experiences with meaningful use-based electronic health records [published ahead of print]. Computers, Informatics, Nursing: CIN, , 1-1. doi:10.1097/CIN.0000000000000290
  10. Health Information Management Systems Society. (2016). 2016 connected health survey. Retrieved from http://www.himss.org/2016-connected-health-survey