With 57 HIMSS Chapters across North America including the United States, its territories, and Canada, HIMSS serves as the connection point for members and policymakers on key health information and technology priorities. As a cause-based organization, HIMSS has earned respect and influence for its patient-focused approach to transforming U.S. healthcare through information and technology rather than advancing the interests of a specific constituency group.
The HIMSS Chapter Advocacy program provides an opportunity for HIMSS chapters to elect members to expand HIMSS priorities through grassroots and grasstops engagement. Chapter Advocates serve as a strong coordinated voice and respected source of information about health information and technology. Advocates, through Researching, Educating, Power Building, and Monitoring, are able to influence state, territorial, provincial and local health information and technology policies.
Over 100 HIMSS Chapter Advocates are engaged in planning and facilitating advocacy and public policy activities within their states, territories or regions. HIMSS supports these efforts through the Chapter Advocacy Roundtable (CAR) program and the HIMSS Federal & State Government Affairs office, under the leadership of Jeff Coughlin, Senior Director.
During a typical year, SCHIMSS sponsors a State Health IT Day with conference sessions and an Advocacy event at the General Assembly. For the past three or four years we have been successful in obtaining a Proclamation of State Health IT Day from the Governor’s Office. Our goal is to expand the SCHIMSS Advocacy Program, and we are seeking new committee members to help lead the effort as well as new partnerships with other healthcare organizations. Advocacy events are open to all interested SCHIMSS members, and we encourage all members to share in advocating for improving health and healthcare in South Carolina through information and technology.
South Carolina IT Day proclamation 2023
On May 17, 2023, we are sponsoring a virtual Advocacy Day with a morning speaking engagement and an afternoon letter writing campaign to our legislators. This Advocacy Day sponsored by SC HIMSS, SCHIMA, and SCHA brings together many healthcare stakeholders from across the state to share how information and technology transforms health for all South Carolinians. The focus of the event is on (1) modernizing the public health Infrastructure through the creation of policies supporting interoperable systems and the development of data platforms to share critical community health information including support of a robust health information exchange (2) Accelerating workforce development by establishing and providing health informatics-focused training and the promotion of health information technology and information management professional development programs within the state of South Carolina, and (3) Supporting the use of data analytics and advanced technologies, such properly regulated and human controlled artificial intelligence to improve the delivery of equitable health across our state.
WHEREAS, secure, effective and efficient health information systems and technologies, including the health records, are critical to the continuous pursuit of quality healthcare delivery for all South Carolina patients and their providers ; and
WHEREAS, information systems and technologies and good information management practices contribute to a quality healthcare workforce, reduce healthcare costs, and make for safer and more equitable health care for all South Carolinians across our rural areas and urban areas; and
WHEREAS, advanced tools and technologies such as improved electronic health record interoperability, use of optimized telehealth and patient portal applications, and a more robust health information exchange system helps patients and providers make safer, smarter decisions about health care.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Henry McMaster, Governor of the great State of South Carolina, do hereby proclaim May 17th, 2023, as
SOUTH CAROLINA HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DAY
throughout the state and encourage all South Carolinians to recognize the various health information technology professionals who work diligently to help transform health care through the better use of information technology.
South Carolina HIMSS Chapter Advocacy Year End Recognition Report for FY21
SC HIMSS received the Certificate of Recognition for achieving Changemaker level for July 2020 – June 2021. Congratulations to the Advocacy Committee for their dedication and hard work over the past year.
HIMSS Chapter Advocacy South Carolina Chapter Certificate FY21
Update for State Advocacy Committees on national IT Policy Priorities and Initiatives
HIMSS has initiated a new monthly Update for State Advocacy Committees on national IT Policy Priorities and Initiatives. We would like to begin sharing this update through our chapter newsletter. The slide deck is brief, but it contains links to informative material on timely health IT issues, which you may find of interest. If you would be interested in getting involved with the SC HIMSS Advocacy Committee in helping to advance any of these issues or other changes in support of health IT in our State, you may contact Advocacy Chair, Betty Regan at [email protected] for more information. SC HIMSS Advocacy Committee meets the 2nd Friday of each month at 2-3 pm on Zoom.
South Carolina Health IT Advocacy Day Proclamation
We are proud to announce that Governor Henry McMaster has proclaimed September 30, 2021, Health Information Technology Day throughout the state to encourage everyone to recognize the health information professionals, informaticists, and innovators who work diligently to help transform healthcare through the better use of information and technology.
Please join South Carolina HIMSS, South Carolina HIMA, and the South Carolina Hospital Association on September 30 in celebrating Health IT Day with an informative program to learn more about health information sharing and statewide health information exchange.
For more information and to register for our free virtual event
Frequently Asked Questions
What is public policy?
Public policy is a system of laws, regulatory measures, courses of action, and funding priorities concerning a given topic promulgated by a governmental entity or its representatives. Public policy can determine access, funding and eligibility for programs and services, such as Medicaid, 21st Century Cures Act, and state telehealth laws.
How are public policies created?
Public policy can come from any governmental body, such as Congress, state legislatures, city councils, county commissions, the President or Prime Minster, or governors – to name a few.
What is public policy advocacy?
Public policy advocacy is any actions taken to influence government policy.
What is grassroots advocacy?
Grassroots advocacy is outreach to elected or appointed officials to influence public policy.
What is grasstops advocacy?
Grasstops advocacy is outreach and relationship building with thought leaders and folks who have connections to officials. Examples are non-profit organizations and their chapters such as the American Public Health Association.
How is Advocacy different than Lobbying?
Lobbying is narrowly defined by federal, state, and sometimes local, statute. There are 50 different versions of lobbying laws, but all states and the territories share a basic definition of lobbying as an attempt to influence government action.
Generally, it refers to a person or organization contacting an elected official with a specific support/oppose message on policy currently under consideration. Laws define and regulate lobbying and organizations must adhere to those when engaging in defined lobbying activities.
Public Policy Advocacy is any actions taken to influence government policy. Advocates champion a cause: whether as monumental as women’s suffrage and the civil rights movement or less heralded like safety belt laws and childcare subsidies.
What are some examples of Lobbying vs Advocacy?
- Telling a member of Congress how a policy affects constituents
- Using social media to get the word out about a cause/issue
- Meeting with a government official to explain how a particular problem/issue is affecting a particular group or organization, the environment, etc.
- Asking your member of Congress to vote for or against, or to amend or introduce, particular legislation
- Emailing members of your group asking them to contact their member of Congress in support of or opposition to legislation or pending regulations
- Generating an online petition asking members of your organization (direct lobbying) or members of the public (grassroots lobbying) to contact their legislator(s) to support or oppose particular legislation
What is Value-based Advocacy?
Chapters are encouraged to become familiar with both chapter and national HIMSS organizational values and principles and link them to possible policy directions and state advocacy work that:
- Provides a process of consensus on broader concepts (shared values and principles) that builds to agreement on specific advocacy issues
- Provides steps along the way that can be approved by larger audiences (board, staff, membership) to ensure organizational support for advocacy work
- Creates a ‘check’ for long-term/future advocacy –does this advocacy issue reflect our values and principles?
- Potentially builds stronger coalitions and engages a wider audience that share values and principles.
What does it mean to be a Chapter Advocate?
HIMSS Chapters select one or more members to advocate on behalf of your organization and community about issues important to furthering health information and technology policies and to ensure state and local government officials are aware of your qualification as a health information and technology subject matter expert.
Tenants of Chapter Advocacy include a Strong Voice, leading to your chapter becoming a Respected Source of information and a Trusted Collaborator. This aims to lead to Policy Impact at the Local, State, Provincial and Federal levels.
Strong Voice · Respected Source · Trusted Collaborator · Policy Impact · Local, State and Federal Policies
Collaboration and Building Relationships
Part of your role as a Chapter Advocate is to build relationships at a state, regional and local level. Reaching out to state governments is at the core of this. However, we must not forget the power in collaborating with other organizations who share a similar vision. Often, HIMSS members are members of other organizations. Many of your relationships with these organizations could help bolster visibility of shared issues with key decision-makers.
HIMSS Public Policy Principles
- Supporting Care Transformation
- Quality, Safety and Outcomes
- Clinical & Administrative Efficiency
- Interoperability, Health Information Exchange & Infrastructure
- Innovation & Research
- Information Privacy and Security
- Patient Activation and Engagement
- Expanding Access to High Quality Care
- Connected Health
- Increasing Economic Opportunity
- Workforce development
- Economic growth
- Making Communities Healthier
- Population Management
- Public Health