CHIMSS Newsletter February 2015

CHIMSS Newsletter February 2015 

Welcome to 2015 as this issue of the CHIMSS Chapter Newsletter is taking a new twist. You all have elected a very diverse and talented board and they would like to provide you all a peak into what they are working on, interviewing a HIMSS Fellow or discussions on HIT in Colorado. We hope you find it beneficial.

Healthcare Informatics: We have an exciting Healthcare Informatics event coming up this week. Physicians CT Lin and Jonathan Pell are speaking on Busting the Myths of Personal Health Records We have had over 150 registrations for the event and we look forward to see you there on Thursday.

HIMSS 2015: We hope to see you at HIMSS 15. Your CHIMSS board scheduled a Social on Monday April 13. Watch for the advertisement as history has shown it’s always a great party. This is a free Social to give back our members to thank you all for your support through the year.

CHIMSS Interview with Jeff Pelot 

Chief Information Officer at Denver Health

What is your role at Denver Health?

I am the Chief Information Officer.  I am responsible for providing IT services across this organization.  My job is to maximize the contribution that IT brings to this hospital.  To improve overall effectiveness of the IT machine.  You might think of that from a customer perspective, we are providing access to information, not just data.  We need to make it actionable; provide the productivity machine. 

How long have you been a CHIMSS member?’

Since 2002

Why did you join CHIMSS?

I joined HIMSS for the access to healthcare specific information, for the opportunity to partner and share with others in the healthcare community, to network with people facing the same kind of challenges as I am, and for the collegiality the organization provides.  And perhaps to share the lessons learned from my experiences with others.

How long have you been a HIMSS Fellow and why would you encourage others to become a Fellow?

I have been a Fellow for approximately 5 years.  We had a competition with other state HIMSS organizations to see who could get the most seniors and fellows and all that were close to achieving either were encouraged to do so.  As a Fellow, other members recognize you as a leader in the industry and it also allows for more opportunity to work more closely with HIMSS and CHIMSS leadership.  It also provides access to meetings, information and events that are not open to all members which lends to more focused networking.

What do you see as some of the main challenges for a CIO in HIT?

This job is about providing value and service that provides the platform for the organization to do the job it needs to do.  Healthcare is under enormous pressure to increase speed and decrease obstacles.  I need to know all other lines of business within the hospital from finance to healthcare and all other ancillary areas, while facing increasing financial pressures and constraints, and all while aligning with the company’s strategic imperatives, coupled with continued regulatory pressures and increasing economic constraints.

The reality is providing IT services are so archaic and it is no longer enough.  We have to provide tools, information and data so people can make the best possible decision whether it’s financial or patient care focused.  It is has become clear that the practice of medicine has exceeded the cognitive capability of the human brain.  Think about it this way, proving HealthCare is an information business, no one doctor can know all diseases, all tests and all drug interactions that could occur.   IT is absolutely essential for delivering safe and quality patient care.  

The Provider Forum

Patrick Guffey MD

Physician at Large Board Member, CHIMSS 

  • Nearly 70% of physicians say electronic health record (EHR) systems have not been worth it1
  • EHR usage is accounting for 48 minutes of lost free time per day2.
  • 73% of the largest practices would not purchase their current EHR system
  • 45% of respondents say patient care is worse since implementing an EHR

Throughout the field of healthcare, if you engage a provider in a discussion about the electronic health record, you will get a mixed response. There are some providers who feel it has been a valuable addition to their practice.  Others feel going back to paper would be an improvement. Clearly, the EHR is here to stay but there is a long road of optimization and innovation ahead.

Personally, I think one of the root causes of this mixed support is provider engagement. I was recently at the American Society of Anesthesiologists annual meeting in a session focused on quality improvement. The discussion turned to the EHR and the opinions were flying. Many were quite happy to point out what was wrong with the current state and when asked how to fix it, the phrase “herding cats” would have never been more appropriate. The opinions were completely varied. About 45 minutes into it, I pointed out there were actually three analysts from an EHR vendor in the room. If I were one of those analysts, I would have had no idea what to take away from the discussion.

I feel for the software designers and analysts. Every site they “launch” demands different functionality, workarounds, and the like.  Everyone has different workflows and they want the software to adapt to their practice. If they ask 50 providers how to operaliationalize an enhancement request, they will get 50 opinions, and many of them will be in conflict. It’s an impossible challenge.

Physicians and other healthcare providers are not speaking with one voice and not expressing what we need to enhance patient care. It’s easy to blame the software designers – they’re a great target. On average, this is a profitable industry. The decision to roll out an EMR is largely made by hospital management with variable amounts of provider engagement. Excuses abound. However, I believe the root cause is deeper. Rather than expecting someone else to deliver the answer – we need to come together, discuss these issues and offer solutions that will address the core problem. What is that problem? That we have not figured out the best way to transition from paper to electronic healthcare documentation.

To that end, CHIMSS is going to launch a provider forum. A place where providers can discuss these issues and build consensus. A forum where we can freely discuss the issues and share our successes, and ask for advice when we came up short. We will keep this forum open to all, so that everyone who works in this industry can gain from these discussions and shared perspectives. Each month I will put out a topic, and we invite our membership to also drive the discussion.

HIMSS is focused on better health through Information Technology. As a physician champion, I have learned the value of collaboration – among other providers, nurses, support staff, analysts, developers, leaders, and consultants. I’ve learned that typically, I don’t have the best answer or even the right answer, but I know how to find it.

Collaboration. Let’s get to work.

Patrick Guffey MD

Physician at Large Board Member, CHIMSS

Anesthesiologist, Associate Clinical Director, and Medical Director, Perioperative Informatics. Children’s Hospital Colorado


1) Physician outcry on EHR functionality, cost will shake the health information technology sector
2) Use of Internist's Free Time by Ambulatory Care Electronic Medical Record Systems.


CHIMSS Scholarship Program for 2015

The CHIMSS organization is committed to supporting the professional development of health information technology professionals in Colorado.  We offer scholarship awards to professionals pursuing a career in health information technology and those looking to expand their training in the health information technology field.  Applicants must reside in Colorado and must be CHIMSS members.  We will award at least one scholarship to a student of a certified health information technology degree program and one scholarship to a professional pursuing education toward a new health information technology certification:

Academic scholarship: CHIMSS Scholarship awarded to students/qualified professionals pursuing an advanced degree (masters or doctoral) in the field of health information technology, health informatics, biomedical informatics, and related fields.

  • Award: up to $1,500 and complimentary registration for two CHIMSS programs for upcoming year.

Training scholarship: CHIMSS Scholarship awarded to students/qualified professionals pursuing advanced training and/or certification related to health information technology, health informatics, biomedical informatics, and related fields in a secondary education setting (i.e., community college, junior college, university).

  • Award: up to $1,000 and complimentary registration for two CHIMSS programs for upcoming year.

Applications will be accepted beginning December 1, 2014 and must be submitted by 11:59 pm Mountain, Saturday, February 28, 2015.   Awardees will be announced at the CHIMSS Spring 2015 meeting in mid-March, and will be honored at the CHIMSS June 2015 event. 

Please promote this opportunity with your contacts at institutions of learning pertinent to health information technology education and professional development. If you have such contacts and would be willing to add them to the CHIMSS scholarship contact database, please send contact information to

Thank you for your consideration.

Email the CHIMSS Academic Chair to obtain the scholarship form.

Remember, it must be submitted no later than Feb 28, 2015.


CHIMSS 2014/2015 Board of Directors