Advocacy & Community


Welcome to The Blum Report

Articles to Read to Stay up with the HIMSS advocacy Agenda during this time of significant change, lessons learned, and the focus on HIT as healthcare enabler.

HIMSS Overview and Policy Priorities - Click here to read about HIMSS' vision, mission, policy priorities, and more.



HIMSS' Social Determinants of Health Guide

The social determinants of health, also referred to as SDOH, are the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age, and have gained recognition for the broad impact these conditions have on health, health equity and overall well-being. Factors include food security, socioeconomic status (income, educational attainment and subjective perception of social status), access to care, reliable transportation, safe housing, neighborhood characteristics and the composition of a person’s social support network. The social determinants of health, also referred to as SDOH, are the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age, and have gained recognition for the broad impact these conditions have on health, health equity and overall well-being. As outlined in Healthy People 2030, the fifth edition of a set of science-based, 10-year national objectives developed under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the social determinants of health can be grouped into five domains: Economic Stability, Education Access and Quality, Healthcare Access and Quality, Neighborhood and Built Environment, and Social and Community Context.

The conditions included in each of these domains are shaped by a wider set of social, economic and political forces known as the structural determinants of health including public and social policies, governance, macroeconomics and societal and cultural values. These structural determinants can foster inequities associated with race, sexual orientation, class and other attributes of human difference that can produce systematic disadvantages, which lead to inequitable access to positive SDOH experiences and ultimately dictate health. HIMSS has prepared a comprehensive guide to facilitate the broadest understanding of SDOH and how HIT can support policy and programs to address. Click here to read the comprehensive HIMSS SDOH Guide.


HIMSS Public Policy Principles on Equity and the Social Determinants of Health


  1. The safe, effective, secure, and integrated application of connected health technologies must play a central role in advancing better care delivery and disease management and prevention, regardless of location, and reducing health disparities.
    1. Policy must recognize the unequivocal value of health technologies to deliver timely and effective response during emergency events and health crises.
    2. Universal access to broadband connectivity should be prioritized, as it is a critical enabler for widespread telehealth access, and additionally, economic and education factors all contributing to positive health outcomes. To read the comprehensive HIMSS SDOH Guide go to
    3. Telehealth enhances access to high-quality care for at-risk, underserved, and remotely-located populations, regardless of the patient’s location, and ultimately advances health equity.
  2. Communities, patients, caregivers and providers should have equitable access to health IT tools regardless of any social or economic status, such as race, gender, education, neighborhood, or income.
  3. Policy should support research and programs to pay particular attention to at-risk communities in order to advance health equity. Policy should help overcome racism and bias as structural determinants of health, leading to inequities and disproportionate morbidity and mortality risk in communities of color.
  4. Policy should support ethical, non-discriminatory practices of standardizing and integrating demographic and social determinants of health data. Best practices in this area serve to leverage quality care and to more efficiently identify disparities in health outcomes.
  5. Policies should account for diverse levels of technology literacy and should strive to build culturally competent literacy.


HIMSS Public Policy Considerations

The following are key HIMSS public policy considerations for considering SDOH and health equity needs through the use of cross-sector data and use of health information systems.

Support the development of local or regional health and human services data platforms to share critical community information that can improve policy decision-making, public health research, and evidence-based interventions particularly for vulnerable populations.

Integrate Healthy People 2030 health equity and health IT measures and coordinate with state and local governmental agencies to ensure community health improvement plans, state health IT plans/roadmaps reflect the use of modern health IT data and infrastructure needed to address SDOH and any emerging health threats.

Convene a multi-disciplinary, state-led work group to develop recommendations on how information and technology can ensure a health information and technology in all policies approach, address social determinants of health and increase health equity.

Support funding and modernization of your state’s public health data infrastructure to expand utilization of mapping software and other epidemiological tools to identify communities with highest needs and determine appropriate intervention and support secure data sharing between social and healthcare entities.

Support innovation and use of secure mobile applications and SMS platforms to enable a healthier, safer lifestyle.

Support state and regional HIEs to build connections to social care networks in order to create a statewide digital platform that enhances care coordination across the spectrum of care and informs public and private SDOH goals.

Encourage community-based, cross-sector integration by leveraging telehealth and broadband programs as a mechanism to tackle social determinants of health.

Click here to read the comprehensive HIMSS SDOH Guide.


Recommendations to the Biden Administration on COVID-19 Vaccine Roll out

On 16 February HIMSS and 11 co-signing  organizations submitted a letter thanking the Biden Administration for its COVID-19 related efforts thus far and offering recommendations on how to improve national COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration by maximizing the use of information technology. along with other health care focused affiliations provided  recommendations to the Biden Administration on COVID -19 Vaccine Rollout.


Immediate Actions

  • Capitalize on Health Information and Technology and Data Systems to Support a Robust, Federally-Coordinated, Comprehensive COVID-19 Vaccination Plan
  • Exercise Regulatory Flexibilities and Enforcement Discretion to Ease Burden
  • Adopt an “All-Hands-on-Deck” Approach to Vaccine Distribution and Administration
  • Emphasize the Importance of Interoperability and Data Sharing in the Broader Vaccination Effort
  • Support a Public Health Campaign to Democratize Data and Information Through Innovative Digital Solutions


Longer-Term Plans

  • Generate Digital Vaccination Credentials for Individuals
  • Establish Formal Feedback Loop for COVID-19 Related Tools and Technologies
  • Develop a National Patient Identification Strategy


To read the 8 page letter CLICK HERE.


Stay Connected, Stay Safe and Stay Engaged- and share with me any updates.

- Dan



Dan Blum

HIMSS NCA Advocacy & Community Chair