Academic Education

The Year in Review: Collaborating to Build the Health IT Workforce and Talent Pipeline

The Emerging Healthcare Leaders Task Force (EHLTF) meets monthly to discuss challenges and develop resources that benefit HIMSS members at any career stage—whether they are students, young professionals, or seasoned professionals moving into the next level of their careers. In 2023, the EHLTF focused on identifying opportunities to build the health IT workforce/talent pipeline, and we were successful in accomplishing our goal in many ways:

Several EHL task force members volunteered their services during the HIMSS23 Workforce Connextions event by providing guidance at the LinkedIn, resume, and career advisement reviews, and also assisted with the EHL Poster presenters panel for over 300 attendees.

We strengthened our relationship with the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) to connect with high school students and inform them about careers and opportunities available in the health information and technology industry. EHL task force members developed three resource flyers that were shared with students attending the HOSA International Leadership Conference (ILC) held in Houston, TX in June 2023. One of the flyers showcased open possibilities in the health information and technology industry. The other two flyers provided students with a plethora of information on resources available to them. Mara Daiker, Senior Director, Professional Development at HIMSS, and a member of the HOSA-100 International Advisory Council delivered a presentation at the HOSA ILC. The presentation used by Mara was developed by EHLTF members.

The task force also held a webinar in October 2023 entitled, “Unlocking the Future: Exploring Exciting Careers in Health Information Technology.” Through this webinar, attendees were able to learn what health informatics is all about in today’s world. Three seasoned healthcare informatics professionals shared insights on how they got started in health IT and why it is a viable and important profession to consider. This was an extremely successful event, boasting 321 registrants and 148 attendees, which is a 47% attendance rate. We were able to capture some statistics on attendees with 5% being HOSA attendees, 3% high school students, and 2% HOSA members, all who we were pleased to have in attendance. Of the feedback received from 47 respondents (based on a scale of 1-10), 93% would likely attend this webinar in the future, 92% found the content at this session to be valuable/informative, and 96% found the speaker(s) were knowledgeable on the topic and had effective presentation skills.

Mary Daiker and I delivered two webinars in 2023 that provided information on all the workforce resources offered to members of HIMSS. The EHLTF worked to update the content and refine the title of this webinar, “Exploring HIMSS’s Workforce Recourses.”

Lastly, the EHLTF in conjunction with the HIMSS Professional Development Committee, successfully petitioned  high school students to be eligible for HIMSS membership, which we feel will strengthen our relationship with HOSA members. The work we did in support of HOSA members provided a springboard for FY24 goals. We look forward to expanding our involvement in HOSA conferences by continuing to educate others about opportunities in the health information and technology industry.

The HIMSS EHLTF had a very busy 2023, and I am very proud of all the work completed to accomplish a big goal. 2023 was my second year serving on the EHL task force and my first year serving as the chair. Through our monthly and sub-committee meetings, I had the opportunity to connect and work with many health information and technology professionals and educators that, had I not been on the task force, I likely never would have met. I look forward to our collaborations where we tackle issues and develop resources for HIMSS members. I am continuously learning through the work we are doing, and serving on the EHL task force has been a wonderful experience. I would like to thank all the members for their hard work, time, talent, and dedication to the mission of the task force. In addition, I would like to thank Gina Pope, HIMSS Professional Development Program Manager, for all her hard work, patience, organization, and support.

Katie Kerr, EdD, RHIA
Chair, HIMSS Emerging Healthcare Leaders Task Force
Associate Professor and Graduate HIM Program Director, Department of Health Informatics & Information Management, The College of St. Scholastica