The Top Five Takeaways for Quality in Your HIMSS13 Proposal Submission

The HIMSS13 Annual Conference & Exhibition Call for Proposals is a peer-reviewed process that is highly structured, rigorous and competitive: our volunteer reviewers look for those proposals that have the most promise of being an exceptional presentation at HIMSS13. 

Based on these recommendations, members of the Board-appointed HIMSS Annual Conference Education Committee (ACEC) review all the proposals submitted,  comments and scores, and then, recommend the most-compelling sessions for the annual slate of education across over 20 topic categories. 

If you are considering submitting a proposal for HIMSS13, I have five guidelines that may help you in your submission process. I am not promising your proposal will be selected, but rather, I offer guidelines, if followed, to ensure that your submission is one of high quality.

1. The Topic.  With over 20 topic categories available for consideration at HIMSS13, the opportunities abound for potential presenters to share their experiences.  Ensure that your topic is timely, that it’s appropriate for health IT professionals, that it provides applicable (and actionable, if possible) information for attendees to use once they return to their work site, and that it avoids any hint of commercialism. 

2. The Structure.  The structure of your proposal is very important.  The title of the session must accurately reflect the summary description, which in turn, must accurately reflect the learning objectives.  The three items, in tandem, set the tone for supporting details to follow.  If you have a great title but poorly written learning objectives that do not support the summary of the proposal intent, your proposal will not score favorably.

3. The Content.  Ensuring that you have the details to support your proposal is very important.  In the past, we have received compelling submissions that either had not yet been implemented by the time of the Annual Conference (when in fact the entire submission was based on the implementation), the research was not concluded, or some other missing detail(s) that raised a question(s) in the reviewer’s critique.  So be sure that what you submit can be validated.  Also, keep in mind, not only do our attendees learn from successes, but also, from projects that did not result in what was intended, or, perhaps just failed.

4. The Details.  Be sure to include enough detail in your submission to support the title, session description, and the learning objectives.  While we receive many submissions, some are more detailed than others: and those proposals that are compelling offer enough supporting detail to accurately reflect session’s intent.  This is really important as our reviewers and the ACEC compare and contrast one proposal to another.

5. The Benefits. It’s exciting to learn that your proposal has been selected for placement at a HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition.  You’ll have the opportunity to share your knowledge and experiences on a national stage so that all can learn and benefit.  But you also will need to adhere to very strict timelines.  And for your effort, you will receive the opportunity for a complimentary conference registration (non-transferrable), advancement points towards Senior Member or HIMSS Fellow, as well as potential points toward the renewal of a professional certification, i.e. CPHIMS, PMP, or other.

So good luck, be detailed and be compelling. 

And what suggestions may you have to those considering responding to the HIMS13 Annual Conference & Exhibition Call for Proposal?

About JoAnn W. Klinedinst, CPHIMS, PMP, FHIMSS

JoAnn W. Klinedinst, CPHIMS, PMP, FHIMSS, is HIMSS Vice President, Professional Development.
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