Wrap Up on National Health IT Week

7th Annual National Health IT Week Concludes

This was a packed week of recognition for health information technology. Check out the twitter hashtag #NHITWeek for a constant stream of information. Or head over to the HIMSS Blog where they set up the National Health IT Week Blog Carnival Round-up. Wrapping up the seventh annual National Health IT Week, here are posts and musings from the field.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse from Rhode Island has been a long time supporter of health IT and patient advocacy. He believes health care is our opportunity to build a lasting national infrastructure like Eisenhower did with the highway system. Read his article in the Huffington Post, Health Information Technology: Paving the Way to Improved Patient Care.

“The purpose of National Health IT Week is to raise awareness of the importance of health information technology. We are grateful to HIMSS and the week’s other co-sponsors, the Institute for e-Health Policy and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), for leading the activities”, says Dr. Carolyn Clancy. “This is an important annual event, demonstrating for Federal policymakers that health IT is neither an abstract nor experimental activity.” Dr. Clancy is the Director, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and she writes about National Health IT Week in Government Health IT, Celebrating HIT as an essential tool.

The ONC Deputy National Coordinator for Programs and Policy, Judy Murphy and ONC Policy Analyst and Nurse Advisor called out to Nurses for this week. “As the 2012 National Health IT Week begins, we’d like to call on the 3.2 million registered nurses across the nation and the important roles they serve everyday as caregivers, advocates, educators, and health consumers to take action in their own health.” See the Health IT Buzz and their post, Nurses, “Ask for YOUR e-Health Record!”

The week kicked off in Washington DC with the Consumer Health IT Summit. The A-list group came together again this year to keep the momentum going when it comes to patient awareness and engagement. View the Health IT for you – Giving You Access to Your Medical Records video. Read Brian Ahier’s post on the event, Consumer Health IT Summit – Government as Catalyst. And check out the Health Populi, where Jane Sarasohn-Kahn attended the summit and writes about it in her post Democratizing Health IT – it’s National Health IT Week.

NJ- Health Information Technology Extension Center (NJ-HITEC), the regional extension center, hosted daily events this week throughout the State. On their facebook page you can read about the workshops and the 10,000 Students Get Connected to Health IT initiative.

The week ended on Thursday and Friday with the HIMSS 11th Annual Policy Summit. The participants will go to Capitol Hill to explain HIMSS’ top three “Congressional Asks” to Congress. This year’s Asks, developed by a task force of HIMSS member volunteers, are:

  1. In the interest of patient safety, privacy, and security, and in order to achieve the full potential of health information technology, Congress should direct a study of patient data matching issues and best approaches to identify an appropriate nationwide patient data matching strategy.
  2. In order to improve the quality of healthcare for all Americans while also reducing costs, Congress should continue its strong bipartisan support for Health Information Technology.
  3. In order to realize interstate Health Information Exchange (HIE), Congress should support the harmonization of federal and state privacy laws.

Check back with HIMSS next week to get the full update on the summit.

Have a great weekend.