Now’s the Time to Prepare for HIMSS18 Educational Programming. Really??

Yes.  Really. 

There is no better time than now to begin preparing for the HIMSS18 general educational programming call for proposal. Proposals that include applied, quantitative methods of research that analyze, define, and qualify the work of healthcare professionals are very well received by not only our reviewers but also attendees. Currently, I’m reviewing proposals received for HIMSS17. I continue to be in awe of the excellent work that proposal submitters produce when creating a proposal. Many are grounded in sound principles of quantitative research methodology which adds credibility for both the presenter and the attendee. And to be sure that all proposals receive the HIMSS-focused attention critical to producing a quality educational programming agenda, I will have reviewed all 751 proposals received in time for our Annual Conference Education Committee meeting in late August. And it’s at this meeting where the Committee selects proposals for both the HIMSS17 pre-conference and general education program. Added to this, our rigorous peer review process, with over 300 volunteers, adds another dimension to vetting a quality proposal. 

And how does one prepare a quality proposal that follows applied, quantitative methods of research that analyze, define, and qualify the work of healthcare professionals?  Depending upon one’s post-graduate training, a thesis or professional paper may have been required for granting of a graduate degree.  As an example, I earned a Masters in Adult Education from The Pennsylvania State University and was required to complete a professional paper on a topic of my choice. I completed work on Continuing Professional Development for the Health IT Professional: A Critical Review of the Literature and actually have applied some of my findings to current HIMSS Professional Development activities.  (A handbook of the same name is currently under publication with 25 contributing authors.) To create this professional paper, my course used the book Understanding and Evaluating Educational Research, McMillian, JH and Wergin, JF (2010); Saddlebrook, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.  While this resource was from an educational perspective, I would suggest another resource for health IT-focused presentations: Essentials of Applied Quantitative Methods for Health Services Managers, Lew, JB, McGrath, RJ, Seidel, LF (2011); Jones and Bartlett Publishers (USA).

Once you’ve identified your research approach, be sure to create a plan to ensure that you accomplish the research in time for analysis and inclusion in the proposal for HIMSS18 proposals.  Reviewers, ACEC members, and HIMSS staff do not receive well proposals that indicate “research is pending”. Rather, we expect completed research included in a sound proposal.  So please plan accordingly.  We anticipate that the HIMSS18 Call for Proposals will open in May 2017.  

As I have done as a HIMSS volunteer and past speaker for several HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibitions prior to becoming a HIMSS staff member, be sure to attend an upcoming HIMSS Annual Conference and Exhibition (HIMSS17 to be held February 19-23, 2017; Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL) and observe presentations while reviewing the session abstract and other materials that contribute to the session.  By doing so, you can be well on your way to submitting an abstract for HIMSS18.