Tools and Resources
Expanding Chapter Reach through Collaborations
No single organization is number one at everything – especially with limited resources. Chapter leaders have the opportunity to make a significant impact on chapters and the health IT industry. Consider working with other organizations, which allows you to work around limited resources. A HIMSS chapter can be a mode of connection for membership to local, state and regional stakeholders. Collaborations provide new opportunities to strengthen chapters and their purposes. Think about the big picture and make sure the collaborations circle back to the mission and chapter goals.
Through personal and professional life, leaders may know colleagues that could foster partnerships. It may take several steps to build these relationships, but take advantage of these opportunities. Getting a foot in the door, making those introductions, and building those connections can have a steady impact on the growth of a chapter.
Also, consider connections with other non-profits, medical societies, HIEs, State agencies, Public Health, QIOs, and other HIMSS Non-Profit Partners. Take advantage of operational overlap with like-minded organizations as a stepping stone for successfully collaborations. Trust is the cornerstone of a collaborative relationship, so practice transparency to avoid frustration and conflict. Consider collaboration that include co-hosting education and networking events, joint Advocacy Days, cross promote events, work with other associations to find speakers, or offer to present at another organizations meeting. Once areas for collaboration are identified, it is recommended to create an agreement to outline the collaboration, including roles and responsibilities. Leadership needs to be supportive and avoid ego ownership issues. The goal is collaboration for the greater good of the both groups.
It is important to note that collaborations are only allowed with non-profits that are like-minded and support the HIMSS mission and vision. No collaboration with a for-profit allowed, as this may jeopardize chapters’ 501c6 tax exemption status. Although a for-profit entity cannot become a HIMSS chapter collaborator, they may be able to sponsor chapter events and activity. Chapters can offer for-profit entities a discount to attend chapter events, chapter membership or exhibition opportunities.
Additionally, HIMSS Chapters cannot market or promote a for-profit event, even as part of a sponsorship package.
If a chapter is considering collaborating with an organization as a co-sponsor, please make sure to fill out the Chapter Collaboration Survey and refer to the collaboration policy. Contact Stephanie Denvir, CAE, director of strategic relations or Jessie Bird, manager of strategic relations with questions.
Written Agreements – Are They Necessary?
Written agreements are put in place for everyone’s protection to make sure that right from the start everyone is on the same page on what the exchange of promises are and what the consideration (whether monetary or not) for those promises will be. HIMSS encourages the use of written agreements, in order to ensure that the agreed upon terms are met.
The memorandum of understanding (MOU) is a document that is best used when the parties want to set forth some terms that will be legally binding even though not all the details of the arrangement are able to be spelled out at the start. For example, using this type of agreement is perfect for this kind of situation ‘we’re going to work together to produce some products or services that we haven’t yet clearly defined, but what we do know is that we’re going to split revenues and expenses 50-50 we want to make sure that if there’s a dispute it has to be in the (fill in the blank) State court system and we want to lock each other in for two years.’ In this type of arrangement, the MOU states the details of the product and service aren’t binding upon us yet, but what is binding is that we’ll use a good faith effort to develop and market those products and services, how expenses and revenues will be shared, and if there’s a dispute we mutually agree to a jurisdiction in advance.
Alternatively, a contract spells out all of the binding terms. It sets out the precise deliverables and what it will take for those deliverables to have been deemed delivered. A well-written contract won’t have the vagueness in it that an MOU does. A sample collaboration MOU is available.
Erring on the side of caution, it is a good idea to have collaborations documented. But at the end of the day, it is up to the chapter board to determine what is necessary for agreements and MOUs.
FY16 Chapter Leader Webinar Update
Thank you for those who joined the January 2016 Chapter Leader Webinar. Our presenters for this call were Rod Piechowski, senior director, health information systems and Michael Gaspar, program manager, social media who discussed value of health IT and social media. Some of the topics covered on this teleconference were: an overview of the HIMSS Health IT Value Suite and its contents, how to navigate the Value Suite, highlighting local success and contributing to the Value Suite.
Additionally, we heard from HIMSS Media on how to use social media to amplify HIMSS’ message and content ideas for chapters to use on social media platforms. If you missed this webinar or would simply like to review, a recording is available at the Chapter Leader Resource Area under Chapter Leader Webinars. Feel free to send any questions to Chapter Staff.
HIMSS16 Marketing Toolkit
As a HIMSS chapter leader, you know the importance of having your region represented at the national level. The more chapter members who attend HIMSS16, the more knowledge they bring back to share. HIMSS has created a complimentary resource with useful tools to help market HIMSS16 participation and promote attendance to members.
The HIMSS16 Chapter Marketing Toolkit provides a variety of customizable marketing materials for chapters:
- Ads and articles for print and online publication
- Banners for website placement
- Carousel image for website placement
- Social media tips and posts to engage audiences
These items are customizable, so chapters can insert chapter name, logo and other copy. Each item contains supporting files to enable quick, easy customization.
HX360 - Unparalleled Insights to Innovate Now
Join HIMSS at the HX360 Innovation Leaders Program held in conjunction with HIMSS16 on February 29 – March 2 in Las Vegas. Learn how healthcare leaders are shifting their business models, leveraging and investing in emerging technology and building innovation capacity to solve persistent, costly problems in healthcare. Register Today.