As HIMSS19 in Orlando approaches, it’s time to get registered and make travel arrangements.
For students on the fence as to whether or not they should join the more than 40,000 health IT professionals at this annual showcase of innovation and education, there is no reason to doubt the value of attendance.
USF is an Academic Organizational Affiliate of HIMSS, meaning that as a student, a HIMSS membership bears no cost. That is compared to the usual $200 for a regular membership or $30 for other students.
The savings doesn’t stop there though. Normally, registration for the conference runs anywhere from $825-$1,225 depending on when you register. As a student, conference registration comes at discounted rate of $165.
But maybe it’s not about money for you. Maybe it’s just a question of value. In that case, here are six reasons students should clear time for the trip to Orlando this March and join the health IT masses for what promises to be an enlightening week.
With a massive audience in attendance reaching into nearly every corner of the healthcare sector, there is no shortage of connections to make at HIMSS19.
The question isn’t whether you’ll meet people, it’s whether you’ll meet the right people who can help you advance your knowledge of the field and your career prospects. Like so many other things in modern life, social media is perhaps the best way to chart the course of your networking strategy.
“When I first started going, you’d bump into people and pick up your conversation where you left off the previous year,” Chuck Webster, a HIMSS Social Media ambassador said. “As it got bigger and bigger, you bump into familiar faces less. Now I’m a firm believer in the social media aspect of networking at HIMSS.”
Webster suggests engaging with the various social media ambassadors who serve as experts in different areas of healthcare, ranging from marketing to workflow, nursing, telehealth and more.
Once you’ve completed your course work and have that degree or certificate in hand, you may find that searching for a job isn’t as easy simply throwing the term “informaticist” into a job site and applying to whatever opportunities show up.
Elsi Gori, a 2017 graduate of USF’s Master of Science in Health Informatics program, attended HIMSS17 in Orlando and found that she was learning a lot about job titles in an industry that is still developing new positions.
“Something I’m learning here at the conference is, ‘What job titles match my degree?’”, Gori said. “Because, first of all, health informatics is a new field, an emerging field. All these companies have created jobs where they use health informatics, but they call them different things. I’m an analyst, but I think somebody said I need to use the word ‘systems’ when I’m searching for a job.
Different companies, in hospitals, they use analysts for different things. Even my own hospital where I work at, an analyst has anything from associate to a master’s and they pay accordingly, and based on different facilities, it depends on how they use them.”
Of course, you can always turn to us to help you understand the value of health IT education. But the opportunities presented at HIMSS offer a valuable supplement to a traditional education. Leading thinkers currently plying their trade in the private sector lead discussions about real life scenarios and experiences in which they’ve had success.
Additionally, your HIMSS membership grants you access to the HIMSS Learning Center, which includes materials in their digital content library, online courses, virtual events such as webinars and chat communities.
Get a New Certification
While you’re there, HIMSS19 is a perfect time to sit for HIMSS certificate examinations that you qualify for, including CAHIMS and CPHIMS. Rather than traveling to a testing center location, you can conquer these exams while attending the conference by meeting the necessary qualifications and registering on the HIMSS website.
See New Innovations
Every HIMSS conference packs a fair amount of exciting healthcare innovations that have developed over the course of the last year. Recent years have seen the development of healthcare tech that attendees at the first ever HIMSS conference would have likely thought of as something from the space age.
We’ll be looking at must see events and education sessions to consider for this year’s conference as more details emerge. That is to say nothing of the more 1,300 of vendor booths showcasing products and services for just about any health IT need you can imagine, from mobile healthcare and blockchain to human resources and content providers.
Make the Most of Your HIMSS Membership
A HIMSS membership is a valuable resource for any health IT professional. With so much on offer, it’s easy to find value in membership without attending the conference.
To get the most of the membership, however, you won’t want to miss this opportunity to rub elbows with other health IT professionals, learn some new things and maybe even engage current or prospective employers in conversations about issues in health IT. And remember, in the future, once you graduate, the opportunity to do so won’t come at the same discounted price.
“We encourage our students to consider going to the HIMSS conference every year,” Dr. Robert Deschenes, professor and chair of Health Informatics at the Morsani College of Medicine said. “Students can benefit greatly by participating in this large meeting format that brings together so many informatics professionals and vendors. There are great information sessions and lectures as well. It’s an exciting time to go to that, so it’s a great asset.”
For more of our coverage of HIMSS19 and to see some of our articles from HIMSS18, click here.