News & Publications

News and Resources

Message from the President

Dear Members,

In normal times, I have the honor of writing a year-end letter where I boast of chapter happenings like member growth, fundraising accomplishments, and community impact. However, times are anything but normal and it does not feel appropriate. In short, please know that membership is stable, and our chapter is financially sound.

Instead, I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge our friends and colleagues whose lives have been forever altered by the COVID-19 pandemic. To those of you who have lost someone, please know my heart is with you. I’d also like to recognize our clinicians, who tirelessly and selflessly dedicate themselves to caring for others during these trying times. Thank you for all that you do. Lastly, I’d like to thank my fellow board and committee members. I am humbled to work alongside such a passionate team who graciously volunteer their time and expertise to advance healthcare IT in the State of Washington.

Thank you all and have a safe holiday season,

Dylan Strecker

HIMSS Washington President

Member Spotlight

Dr. Zafar Chaudry, Sr. VP, Chief Information Officer, Seattle's Children's Hospital, A Fearless Leader

By Artina Mitchell, Communications Chair

Welcome to the end of 2020 HIMSS WA! In this month’s member spotlight edition, I would like to introduce to you Dr. Zafar Chaudry, Sr. VP and Chief Information Officer of Seattle's Children's Hospital. If asked, those who know and have worked with Zafar may tell you that he is considered to be a HIT thought leader, an advocate of community involvement and someone who has a knack for helping people expand their thoughts beyond the obvious while keeping them from getting lost in the idea of “just IT”.

It was in March of 2018 when we reached out to Zafar and asked him if he would be willing to share his perspective and time as an advisor for our Chapter. I know this because I was there and remember that first meeting with him, I was so nervous. However, I quickly learned there was no reason to be. Zafar was the perfect professional and so very personable. He had thought provoking questions, immediate feedback, great ideas, and a true desire to help others in this field. Since that time, Zafar has been a very important member and contributor to the format of events for our chapter. He helped us with planning for our Emerging Leaders events, participated as a panelist in many CIO events, connected us with technologies ideas for our Summit events and currently sits on our CXO Committee. We are very happy to have him as a resource and hope you are too!

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Call for Volunteers

Get Involved and Join a WA HIMSS Committee

Did you know that the HIMSS Washington Chapter has a variety of committees that help shape our programming and education sessions? These volunteer committees are a great way to network with other professionals and help shape our events. The typical committee member volunteers about 2-4 hours a month either remotely or in person. Current committees include Clinical Informatics, Programs, Sponsorship, Communications and Advocacy. Please reach out to David Porter at to sign up.

If you are thinking about volunteering for the HIMSS WA Chapter, Zafar Chaudry would like to share this message with you:

It’s a great way to network, learn and promote what your organization has achieved which helps build employee morale. We have much more work to do to keep our employees engaged and networked. We need more collaboration.

Event Recaps

The Stepping Stones to Clinical Informatics: A Three-Part Series

By James Jones, CIC Communication Chair

Stepping Stones to Clinical Informatics was a continuation from the “Bridge to Informatics” series from 2019. It consisted of a three-part series of presentations and panels related to clinical informatics education, job roles, and certifications. It also included networking opportunities while adding educational topics such as workflow, telehealth, digital health, and clinical decision support.

The first series focused on informatics programs which included an information session on the differences between clinical informatics and nursing informatics and the different programs available. The second series was a clinical informatics 101; understanding specialty areas at various organizations. The objective was to understand the various job roles within organizations such as trainers, analysts, operations, certified Epic trainers, and health tech start-ups within the clinical informatics world. A panelist of informaticists portrayed ‘a day in the life’ that demonstrated different job roles within organizations. Lastly, the third and final series focused on providing clinical informatics certifications and resources to those interested including the CPHIMS and CAHIMS certifications.

Stones was a great opportunity to open up discussions about clinical informatics and the strides that have been made in a brief amount of time. However, this series shed light on the value of the discipline and what it has to offer moving forward. The field of informatics provides numerous roles for individuals to pursue and this was a platform that provided a network of resources and information for the attendees. Although everyone’s path is different, if the desire and passion are there, there will be a place and opportunity for everyone, and this series exemplified that.


Virtual Summit

By Dwayne Neufeld, President-Elect & Programs Chair

If you were one of the 23 volunteers that participated as a speaker, panelist or moderator I want to thank you for making the 2020 Virtual Summit a success! Our local speakers and panelists came from six of the largest provider organizations in the state including Confluence Health, Overlake Hospital Medical Center, PeaceHealth, Providence, Seattle Children’s and Swedish. In addition to great local participation, we had two nationally recognized speakers talking on Healthcare IT Policy with Paul Keckley of The Keckley Report and Tom Leary, Sr VP of Government Relations for HIMSS. Six sessions over two weeks with 350 registered attendees - and all this great content was provided free of charge!

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Vendor Spotlight

Safeguard Patient Info from Visual Hacking

A large health system in the Ohio region recently transitioned their monitor standards to ViewSonic. The decision to move their monitor business to ViewSonic came in the middle of the pandemic amidst supply chain constraints from their prior standard and a desire to simplify their deployment process. ViewSonic’s offerings tested well with the IT group and proved easier to deploy than their prior standard.

The previous monitor manufacturer made a small change to the stand portion of the monitor that didn’t allow for their MFF PC to be mounted behind the screen without drilling holes into the stand or using a wall mount. ViewSonic’s VG2448 monitor and the universal client mounting kit allowed them to mount the PC on the back of the monitor for a cleaner install that is easy to repurpose to another location within the facility when needed.

They were also spending excessive amounts of time and money replacing plastic privacy filters for departments that handle sensitive patient data. The filters would fall off the monitor or be removed by an end user and damaged or discarded requiring repeat purchases to ensure compliance. With the option of a monitor with an always on built in privacy filter eliminated the need for replacement orders while maintaining patient privacy and compliance.

As the majority of their non-patient facing workforce continues to work from home there has been an increase in demand for webcam purchases. Continued global supply chain constraints on stand alone webcams are delaying the fulfilment of orders. The upcoming release of a 24in monitor with an integrated webcam is expected to become part of their standard deployment for a clean clutter free workstation.

Interested in learning more about how to ViewSonic can match your organization with a compliant and clutter free solution? We’d love to help! Please reach out to Jess Randall : NW Regional Business Manager or connect

Season’s Greetings from the HIMSS WA Sponsorship Chair

As 2020 comes to a close, we can all look back on a year of pandemic-mania. Working from home, connecting with family via Zoom, online fitness classes, wishing that Netflix series had a few more episodes, and so much more of an appreciation of what we had, and didn’t have in our lives.

2021 is sure to bring about another new era in healthcare, especially technology. It is an exciting time for our members to get to know all the new technologies that have been developed or are percolating while we all sheltered in place. This is an opportunistic moment for HIMSS Sponsorship to understand what nurtures our sponsors, educates are members, and drives prospective clients in your direction. I will, personally, be reaching out to all of you that have supported HIMSS in the past to really understand what works and what you would like to see differently. For our new sponsors, we will be looking to you to share your latest and greatest with HIMSS members through educational and social programs, both virtually as well as when doors open and we can all safely spill into the streets.

We are so grateful to our past and current sponsors for providing their support and making HIMSS Programs possible. And to our future sponsors, we are so very excited to expand our current offerings to meet your organizations needs and share your expertise, knowledge, and offerings to HIMSS members.

Happy Holidays to All! In health,

Mauraan C. Schultz

Upcoming Events

Incentivizing Health: A Hackathon to Build Solutions for Better Health Outcome - January 20-21, 2021

Social Media

Catch-up and connect with us.

Join our Washington Chapter group on LinkedIn

Click here to connect with members on the Washington Chapter Linkedin Group



Catch-up with us on YouTube

Click here to watch past events in action

Member Spotlight: Kelly Nettle

By Artina Mitchell, Communications Chair

Hello HIMSS WA! We would like to introduce to you, Kelly Nettle, MS, RN-BC, Health Programs Operations Specialist at UW Medicine and HIMSS WA Volunteer. She is a light to so many and we are honored to share a little more about Kelly with you.

Six years ago, Kelly received a call from Rob Jablonski, former HIMSS WA President, to make good on her promise to volunteer for the WA Chapter. At that time, Kelly thought HIMSS was just for IT professionals and not for Clinical Informaticists, but a promise is a promise and she agreed. At the time, she did not realize how impactful that decision would be, for her and for those around her.

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Vendor Spotlight: Zones

The Need for Telemedicine Has Become Clearer in 2020

In every line of work, organizational leaders are learning that workplace modernization is a necessity. Why? Because the opportunity cost of not investing in it is just too great. If your people do not have the latest and best technology, their everyday work processes will be slow and inefficient, and it’s only a matter of time before they become disengaged. Your staff will inevitably suffer as a result.

Perhaps nowhere is that truer than in healthcare. The process of delivering patient care has always been fraught with inefficiencies for everyone involved – patients have to endure long waits in waiting rooms, doctors have trouble getting test results and collaborating with specialists, and of course everyone has to worry about high costs. And with the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, these issues have only become worse. Many medical facilities have found themselves overworked, understaffed, and stretched to their limits.

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Join Us for Global Health Equity Week

Join us on October 19 – 23, 2020 for Global Health Equity Week, an initiative focused on displaying the potential of health information and technology to transform health and minimize health disparities. Connect with global experts and colleagues to discuss maternal health, patient identity and safety, public health modernization and telehealth. Get solutions to help you improve health and wellness for everyone, everywhere. Learn more at

Nursing and Technology Resource

Technology continues to influence the nursing field and healthcare in exciting ways. Future and current nursing students will be coming into the medical field during a time when technological advances are the norm. wants to help make sure students coming to the HIMSS website remain up to date on new developments. In a one page resource, titled The Influence of Technology on Nursing they have outlined three critical areas where nursing students should remain aware of shifting technology. Current shifts in tools, telehealth, record keeping, and patient care are explored to provide student nurses with a quick reference.

Upcoming Events

HIMSS Washington Virtual Summit

Join Healthcare IT leaders from Washington State healthcare systems for six sessions on November 3, 4, 5, 10, 11 &12.

Sessions topics and speakers on Event Calendar. Register separately for each session.

The Stepping Stones to Clinical Informatics: Parts 2 & 3

Part 2: Clinical Informatics 101: Understanding Specialty Areas and Organizational Structures
October 22, 2020 5:00 - 6:30 pm, PDT

Part 3: Clinical Informatics Certifications and Resources
November 19, 2020 5:00 - 6:30 pm, PST

Get Involved and Join a HIMSS WA Committee

Did you know that the HIMSS Washington Chapter has a variety of committees that help shape our programming and education sessions? These volunteer committees are a great way to network with other professionals and help shape our events. The typical committee member volunteers about 2-4 hours a month either remotely or in person. Current committees include Clinical Informatics, Programs, Sponsorship, Communications and Advocacy. Please reach out to David Porter at to sign up.

Volunteering opened up a new world to me. I was ... shocked at the wealth of all the available programs, education, and volunteer opportunities at state and national levels. The caliber of people I met and listened to gave me creative ideas for new opportunities. I have grown in so many ways participating in this organization. ~Kelly Nettle

Catch Up and Connect with Us

Join our Washington Chapter group on LinkedIn

Click here to connect with members on the Washington Chapter Linkedin Group



Catch-up with us on YouTube

Click here to watch past events in action

By Dan Cidon, Chief Technology Officer, NextGate

Over the last five months, COVID-19 has put the entire healthcare system under an extraordinary amount of stress. From overflowing testing sites to strained medical supply chains, the novel coronavirus has performed the unenviable task of exposing dangerously weak links in the care continuum.

To successfully curb the contagion, however, providers and public health officials will need to overcome some of healthcare’s most fundamental problems, including oft-overlooked health information management issues such as data governance and patient record matching.

Identifying infrastructure gaps that impact COVID-19 responses

On the surface, electronic data integrity might not seem like the most pressing issue during a global pandemic. While hospitals and frontline care workers just try to cope with the influx of patients, urgency to meet demands means that basic demographic elements needed to track and manage COVID-19 effectively are not being captured. For an industry already overwhelmed, the absence of those data elements can have far-reaching consequences for treatment, testing, and the scientific research community.

Lack of comprehensive medical data can greatly impair a provider’s ability to know how many people have the virus, the geographical location of confirmed cases, and the effectiveness of treatment.

Epidemiologists are already feeling the impact of data collection shortfalls. According to Janet Hamilton, MPH, Executive Director of the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE), approximately 80 percent of patient demographic data has been missing from commercial laboratory tests for COVID-19. The lack of demographic elements such as phone numbers, addresses, and other critical contact information results in significant delays when trying to notify patients of their status and trace contacts to contain spread of the disease.

Tackling COVID-19’s supersized patient identity management needs

Symptoms of COVID-19 run the gamut from almost non-existent to immediately life threatening and can escalate quickly from one to the other. As a result, patients who may initially seek a telehealth consult or visit an urgent care facility for mild discomfort could be admitted to an unrelated hospital within a matter of days. 

Variations in the availability and speed of testing could also mean that COVID-19 results from the first visit are still pending upon admission and may get lost along the way – especially if the laboratory is missing vital demographic data elements.

The challenge is compounded by the way healthcare organizations assign unique identifying numbers to medical records. A patient who presents at urgent care or primary care initially will get one identifier that is associated with their record. When the patient visits the ED and is admitted to the hospital, it’s very likely that the ED will not know about the previous encounter. And the information about the admission will not necessarily make its way into the same disease registry as the first event, leaving researchers unaware of the patient’s outcomes.

Without any system linking these care sites and registries, the patient is likely to start accruing multiple identification numbers for different fragments of his record, and providers would have to rely on the patient himself to communicate his history. When patients are acutely ill and have difficulty communicating, important information falls through the cracks.

An effective “people-process-technology” strategy for safeguarding patient data quality and establishing a unifying identifier can help. Technology can assist in automating demographic data matching and comparing records in real-time between disparate clinical and financial data sources. In addition, strict data governance practices including standardized naming conventions and patient registration protocols must also be established.

While patient matching has long been a serious industry issue, COVID-19 is reinforcing why we need to address it. Providers need access to the full picture of every patient they treat, and epidemiologists need to consolidate data from multiple sources to track the spread of the disease and determine where more aggressive containment strategies need to be employed.

Daniel Cidon is CTO of NextGate, the global leader in healthcare enterprise identification.

Upcoming Sessions: Digital Healthcare Innovation 

Come join us this spring for our two-part Digital Innovation in Healthcare Series for HIMSS Emerging Leaders. We will be providing an overview of the digital healthcare landscape, hear lessons learned from Swedish leaders about how they are adopting and implementing these new technologies, and exploring careers and new opportunities in this emerging field. Sponsored by Xealth, Inc, Cambia Grove, and Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS).

PART ONE: "An Overview of the Digital Healthcare Landscape"

WHAT: Networking & Happy Hour Event
WHEN: Wednesday, March 13; 5 to 7 PM
WHERE: Structure Cellars & Winery, SODO Urban Works (3861 1st Ave S, Seattle)

The healthcare landscape is rapidly changing as new digital technologies are emerging and are increasingly integrated into the everyday delivery of healthcare. As patients are taking more ownership in managing their health, consumer-based and patient-facing technologies are at the front of this movement. The electronic health record spans across a health system and has quickly become a central factor in developing an organization’s digital strategy.

Navigating this new landscape can be challenging as the industry is faced with reducing cost, delivering high-quality patient centered care, and better managing limited resources. Come learn more about the digital health landscape from local experts from Xealth, suggestions on how to develop an effective digital strategy, and hear the lessons learned from Swedish of how they are implementing these tools.  

Advance Registration is required - SIGN UP TODAY

PART TWO: "How to Build a Career in Healthcare Innovation Panel"

WHAT: Happy Hour & Panel Networking Event
WHEN: Thursday, April 4; 4 to 6 PM
WHERE: Cambia Grove (1800 9th Ave, Seattle)

Digital Healthcare innovation and technology is growing in our region, with many new and diverse career opportunities emerging.

Are you a healthcare professional looking for a new challenge, or someone looking to transition into this field? Come learn from our expert panel from local digital healthcare organizations about these opportunities, get advice on how to transition your career, and learn how to find and land a new job. Come network with other professionals, and meet and hear from leaders in this industry who are hiring.

Advance Registration is required - SIGN UP TODAY

Past Sessions

Power Data Innovation that Transforms Care at Seattle Children's

Wednesday, June 20, 2018 from 5:00 - 7:30 PM

Come hear about Seattle Children’s Enterprise Analytics team's relentless pursuit to power data innovation that drives action to transform care, grow and accelerate research, and enrich community engagement through a new operating model that plays a pivotal role in this transformation. Join the HIMSS Emerging Professionals for happy hour at Structure Cellars & Winery, network with other local healthcare IT professionals, and hear from analytics experts.

The Current & Future State of Telehealth

Wednesday, April 11, 2018 from 5:00 - 7:30 PM

We’ve been hearing about telehealth technologies for awhile now, but what is actually working today? Join the HIMSS Emerging Professionals for happy hour at Structure Cellars & Winery, network with other local healthcare IT professionals, and hear from Telehealth experts.

About the Washington HIMSS Emerging Professionals Group

Our goal is to ensure Emerging Professionals have the resources necessary to launch and advance successful careers in Health IT. Join us for networking events, information sharing, leadership and development opportunities, new ideas and practical solutions. We'll help you build a solid foundation for strengthening your abilities, acquiring more experience and advancing along your health IT path.

Who is an Emerging Professional?

  • High school or undergraduate students looking to enter the health IT field
  • Someone with ten years or less of experience in the health IT field
  • Emerging industry professionals looking to expand their career and become leaders in the health IT field
  • Military veterans transitioning into the health IT field

Questions? Contact Kailey Tollefson at


by Prashant Natarajan, John Frenzel and Detlev Smaltz


I am always on the lookout for clear and concise books about healthcare analytics to recommend to folks who want more than an article, but less than taking a class.  

I am partway through this HIMSS published book written by a trio, one of whom is the CMIO at MD Andersen, John Frenzel, whom I have met several times and enjoy greatly.  He has led substantial analytics programs for MD Andersen, as well as their Epic implementation, so he knows of what he speaks!  My impression so far is that this is a good primer whether you are an IT professional, clinician, or other interested party who is curious about the nuts and bolts of making this work.  

The book is a solid overview of the foundations of launching a big data program in a healthcare organization, what use cases it’s being applied to today, and the potentials for the future.  It contains significant explanations for those who may be new to diving into understanding the realities and hype of machine learning, and clearly explains the various types of analytics – for instance the difference between machine learning and deep learning - without drowning the reader in technical nuances.  There are plenty of other places to go for those. 

The authors call out that it really wasn’t until 2016 or so that any US healthcare institutions were implementing substantial big data programs, despite what hype we may be hearing, so we are still early on the maturity curve – an excellent time to learn more!    One of the best reality checks I’ve seen so far in the book is to highlight the necessary linkages and synergies to EDW based analytic programs of today – and that big data will not replace solid Analytics 1.0 capabilities.

The last 3rd of the book is a series of case studies from various healthcare organizations that have reportedly successfully implemented at least one use-case of big data-based analytics, which may provide the confidence to proceed for those who are in organizations where this has not yet come to life.

Gwen O’Keefe, MD


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