Preparing Students for Industry Needs: How One University Integrated HIMSS Resources Into the Curriculum

University student answering questions

HIMSS global conference doesn’t end when the convention center doors close. Attendees leave with knowledge from educational sessions, speakers and networking that can be applied to the real world, creating an ongoing, year-round experience. HIMSS asked attendees to share the personal and professional successes that stemmed from attending conference – from challenges faced to changes made. Read on to learn about the value of attending HIMSS19 from the unique perspective of our members and partners.

As a HIMSS member from the academic world, I attended the HIMSS18 Global Conference & Exhibition to stay up-to-date about health IT and ensure the latest related topics are added to our educational curriculum. I want students to have relevant and timely information in their program, as well as the opportunity to immediately apply that knowledge. Researching the latest trends in health IT, exploring the new products and services on the horizon, and brainstorming with industry leaders is vital to the relevancy of the program and curriculum.

During HIMSS18, I was able to connect with Lindsay Parilman, relationship manager with HIMSS, to ensure all membership benefits were being utilized through our Academic Organizational Affiliate (AOA) membership. It was great to finally put a face with the name and kind voice I talked to so many times over the last year!

After the conference, we set up several teleconferences with our HIMSS liason, gathering program staff and faculty together to discuss membership benefits. Our goal was to be more proactive and strategic with our resources, noting that we were not using some benefits to the fullest. This collaboration helped us implement these benefits and resources more effectively for students and faculty.

Post-HIMSS18 Project Implementation

The goal of my project following conference was to fully utilize the benefits of the HIMSS AOA membership. The membership started about one year ago and has been most effective by ensuring all our students receive a complimentary HIMSS membership. However, we needed to go beyond this and incorporate more resources directly into the curriculum – helping drive home, for both faculty and students, the course and program concepts. We wanted HIMSS resources to be used as supplemental learning in support of program outcomes so students are prepared to sit for the CAHIMS exam upon graduation.

RELATED: HIMSS Certifications: What You Need to Know

Our Process
The first step in implementing the resources into the curriculum was to meet with our HIMSS liaison to ensure we knew about all of the materials we could utilize. This meeting was especially useful because we reviewed and inspected these resources collaboratively. For example, accessing the HIMSS Health Information and Technology Resource Library provides an abundance of resources, such as podcasts, publications and industry research papers.

RELATED: Explore the HIMSS Health Information and Technology Resource Library

Our Challenges
Initial barriers were due to lack of familiarity regarding access to the materials we wanted to use within the curriculum. Once we resolved that, it became second nature to review what was the most meaningful to our program. The HIMSS Learning Center, for instance, provides an endless list of health information technology resources delivered by industry experts and leaders.

Our Results
As a result of these efforts, we were able to embed additional HIMSS content into the courses for students, who could now fully utilize all resources available. This access will help students transition into the healthcare technology industry as they can review webinars, presentations, case studies and white papers to apply concepts immediately.

Next Steps
Our instructional design team is also working to integrate these resources to support the learning outcomes of the courses and program. With this, faculty will be able to ensure appropriate competencies are met. As the dean of the program, I will be able to monitor student performance and make adjustments to the curriculum where necessary to ensure students are prepared for the industry upon graduation.

The data can then be used to make improvements to the program and close any learning gaps the students may be experiencing. The ultimate goal: prepare students for industry needs while mastering the competencies of the program.

Looking Ahead to HIMSS19

At HIMSS19, I look forward to an opportunity to share data on the effectiveness of implementing HIMSS resources into our curriculum and recognizing if students performed at a higher level due to the increased availability of these resources.

I see artificial intelligence and machine learning as continued hot topics at the HIMSS19 conference. I am excited and anxious to see who or what will be the next big disrupter in the industry.

My advice for anyone attending HIMSS19:

  • Wear great shoes, as you will put on LOTS of miles!
  • Do your homework before attending. The conference is very large (around 45,000 attendees) so at first it can feel a bit overwhelming. By preparing and planning your days ahead of time, you can really get a sense of what topics you want to explore in more detail and what makes the most sense for your learning and networking.

Most importantly, bring your curiosity and absorb as much as you can. There are so many great learning opportunities made available for students and experienced health IT professionals alike.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog or by commenters are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of HIMSS or its affiliates.


February 11-15, 2019 | Orlando, Florida
Join forces with 45,000+ champions of health from 90+ countries at HIMSS19. Collaborate with other health information and technology superheroes, explore the latest disruptive innovations, and discover the resources and solutions that are right for your organization. Learn more | Register

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