Pharmacy Informatics at HIMSS

By Helen Figge
08:11 AM

HIMSS membership is very diverse and prides itself on being able to provide guidance for the various governmental initiatives in healthcare today. Additionally, we support the various groups and clinical entities that work towards supporting these initiatives. HIMSS Professional Development, Career Services has various tools, resources and accessories to enable the professions to support these efforts. For example, our Emerging Professionals Community has a diverse group of members with various backgrounds, both clinical, non clinical, and IT centric, but all share one common thread: They are relatively new to the healthcare IT with generally five years or less of healthcare IT experience. We also have the Nursing Informatics Community, the Physician Community plus many more communities that offer support of the healthcare professions. Our HIMSS communities continue to grow and expand in membership and with member feedback we are creating new tools to support our members’ career growth. 

Our next efforts in support of our diverse membership will be the expansion of our pharmacy community. Professional Development, Career Services will be assisting HIMSS Informatics in supporting expansion of HIMSS Clinical Informatics initiatives with this new activity specifically geared towards pharmacists. The program will focus on the pharmacy informaticist. Check out the Pharmacy Informatics Community.

The field of pharmacy informatics focuses on the technology enablers used in pharmacy that streamline and improve workflow while simultaneously improving patient safety and the delivery of care. These efforts all support best practices in pharmacy. The pharmacy informaticist role specifically focuses on applying technology to ensure the overall delivery of quality care. Pharmacy informatics specifically focuses on medication-related data and knowledge from pharmaceutical acquisition to pharmaceutical delivery (HIMSS October 2006). 

This HIMSS program is also a joint collaboration between NCPDP (National Council for Prescription Drug Programs) and HIMSS. The overall theme of this program will focus on the advancement, awareness and engagement of pharmacists in pharmacy informatics.

NCPDP is a not-for-profit, ANSI-accredited (American National Standards Institute) standards organization that represents the pharmacy services industry. Both HIMSS and NCPDP have diverse memberships, provide leadership for industry standards as well as supports efforts through various educational vehicles. 

We will be holding “Town Hall” meetings as the first step in this refreshed community effort. The first one will take place on August 30, 2012 and will discuss The ABC’s of the SCRIPT Standard.

The remaining “Save the Date” Pharmacy Informatics Town Halls will occur:

  • Thursday September 20 12:00pm central/1:00pm eastern: The Impact of Standards & Pharmacy Informatics
  • Thursday October 18 12:00pm central/1:00pm eastern: ePrescribing Fundamentals
  • Thursday November 14 12:00pm central/1:00pm eastern: Improving Medication Reconciliation with Standards

If you would like further information on these pharmacy efforts please contact Jennifer Roniger, MPH, Program Manager, Informatics at

Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available and remember...Be passionate about your career path and strive to make a difference and learn, learn…learn.  Technology is only the enabler; individuals will be the “transformers” of health IT in the years to come!

Helen Figge is Senior Director of Career Services at HIMSS.