Meet the Editor of The HIMSS Health IT Dictionary, Fourth Edition (Part 2): From Nursing to Interoperability and HIE

I found my way to my current position in a somewhat unexpected manner as I began my career in nursing. However, I have found that I tend to gravitate to those problems in Health Informatics that require some elbow grease to solve, and interoperability is certainly one of them.

I started out as a RN working in Public Health Nursing. When the hospital was looking for someone to help implement the new computer system in the hospital, I volunteered because I thought it would be fun. Little did I know that it would end up being my career!

As I discovered a love for teaching and went on to pursue a Master’s in Education, a wonderful mentor told me my affinity to write computer programs was something I should pursue, and the rest is history. I moved from the hospital, where I rose to become manager of the Help Desk to Case Western Reserve University as a Nursing Informatics Instructor. I pursued and received my PhD in Educational Administration along the way and was at Case Western Reserve University for 17 years: teaching, doing research and advising all levels of students. When Kent State University offered me the job as a full Professor and head of their Health Informatics program in 2012, I jumped at the chance.

My involvement in interoperability and health information exchange specifically came about as a result of my work with the Regional Extension Centers (RECs) from the HITECH Act. Case Medical School was an REC, and I became involved with Clinisync (Ohio Health Information Partnership). As a teacher of Health Informatics, it is important to stay current on everything that is going on in the field.

My involvement with HIMSS began when I became a faculty member at Case Western Reserve University. I was seeking opportunities to network with those from other professions whose interests in HIT were similar to mine. The Northern Ohio Chapter of HIMSS has been my home for a long time; there I have been able to get to know many more players in Health Informatics. I think this has influenced my thinking and certainly made me better able to see issues from multiple perspectives. The opportunity to become CPHIMSS certified and then a FHIMSS, has also been a great boost to my reputation and credibility as head of a Health Informatics program.

Did you miss Part 1 of this series? Read it here.

About the Contributor

Christine A. Hudak, Ph.D., RN-BC, CPHIMS, FHIMSS, is the editor of the The HIMSS HIT Dictionary, Fourth Edition, and is Professor and Director of the Health Informatics program at Kent State University, School of Library & Information Science.  She is also a Contributing Interdisciplinary Faculty Member in the School of Digital Sciences. She has more than 30 years of experience in Health Care Informatics, including teaching, instructional development, systems analysis, systems implementation and data analysis.

Her professional affiliations include the AMIA, ANIA ASHIM, HIMSS and the National Institutes of Health Informatics in Canada. She is a member of the Health Informatics Society of Ireland and is a United Kingdom Certified Health Information Professional.

She received her B.S.N. from Case Western University. Her M.Ed. in postsecondary education and her Ph.D. in Urban Education Administration were both earned from Cleveland State University (CSU), focusing on adult learning, curriculum development, instructional design, educational administration and computer uses in education. Her dissertation title was "Organizational Factors in the Implementation of End User Computing Systems in Ohio Hospitals.”