HIMSS NorCal Advocacy Update

Policy defines what you can do, and what you must do. If you are not advocating for policy, you are letting others decide what you can and must do, without you.

The complexity of our healthcare system is in large part due to conflicting goals. Those of us who provide care to patients want to support our patients and ensure they achieve optimal health outcomes. Unfortunately, healthcare financing is focused only on whether something makes a profit. This is why the EHR is more focused on billing than on meeting the needs of clinicians. These conflicting goals create a challenging dynamic that impacts how we define our principles, identify the processes we follow, and select the tools we use. In this complicated environment it is our responsibility to advocate for health policies that will allow us to make better use of our recent transition to a digital paradigm and offer better experiences and outcomes for patients.

This fiscal year your Advocacy Committee has encouraged the legislature to ensure patients have ready access to their health data and can also limit access to their data. We submitted written requests to several legislators to consider introducing bills that would make how patients get their data easier and more consistent across healthcare entities. We also requested that the Data Exchange Framework (DxF) which is a model for the nation in data sharing, implements a standardized opt out process for patients who need to keep their data segregated.

We are planning an in-person State HIT Day in Sacramento on May 15 (9A-6P) that will include visits to the legislators in the Capitol and end in a networking event. We will arrange appointments for you to meet with your legislators and provide information you can use during those conversation. We will also have an Advocacy 101 Webinar on April 17 so everyone has a foundation for those Capitol conversations. Even if you are not planning to come to State HIT Day, we welcome you to the webinar as it may help you in your phone, email, and online (form) communication with your State representatives.

You can find the bills currently active in the California legislature here:

If you have an interest in being more involved in advocacy, please consider volunteering to join us. We look forward to working with each of you to ensure we all have a say in what we can and must do.


Larry Ozeran, MD

HIMSS NorCal Advocacy Committee Chair