A preview of National Health IT Week

The second annual National Health IT Week kicks off Monday with a full slate of events ranging from exhibitions to policy discussions.

"National Health IT Week encompasses a series of activities all designed to educate consumers and policymakers about health IT and raise awareness of health IT's value," said Jeff Coughlin, senior director of federal affairs at HIMSS.

Co-hosted by HIMSS, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives and the Institute for e-Health Policy, many of the most prominent National Health IT Week events will be held in the Washington, D.C.

On Monday, the ONC will host the 2014 Annual Consumer IT Summit, designed to showcase health IT advancements that will "equip and empower people to manage their own healthcare," said Mr. Coughlin

On Wednesday, HIMSS will host its 13th Annual Policy Summit, during which the organization and other health IT advocates will present Congressional representatives with its three "asks," or policy proposals for the coming year. In 2014, the asks include action that will reduce the disruption for hospitals and health systems stemming from changes in federal health IT programs; expand funding for the ONC for help achieve interoperability improve care quality and ensure patient safety and privacy; and expand telemedicine services to increase care access while reducing costs.

Also on Wednesday, HIMSS will present Health IT Leadership Awards to Sen. Rich Blumenthal (D-Conn.); Judy Murphy, RN, director of the ONC's office of clinical quality and safety; and Hawaii State Sen. Roz Baker (D-Maui) for their work in promoting the adoption and use of health IT.

The National Health IT Week Capitol Hill Technology Showcase on Thursday will feature demonstrations of some of the latest health IT products and innovations. Open to members of the public as well as lawmakers and healthcare industry stakeholders, the showcase will offer a glimpse into the possibilities of interoperable IT.

On Thursday, National Coordinator for Health IT Karen DeSalvo, MD, will speak at a keynote breakfast about the impact of health IT and how it has helped transform the country's healthcare system.

National Health IT Week will extend beyond D.C. as well. There will be several regional summits and for virtual attendees the ONC will be hosting a series of webinars on topics ranging from interoperability to clinical quality and will live-stream the Consumer IT Summit.

The celebration will also extend to social media. Health IT stakeholders and advocates will take to Twitter (#NHITweek), LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+ to reach policymakers and enhance the national conversation about health IT. "We want to create a yearlong dialogue on the value of health IT and we're going to use social media as an asset to move that conversation forward," said Michael Gaspar, associate manager of social media at HIMSS.

More articles on health IT:

ONC praises Vermont's HIE efforts
Naples Community Hospital reaches HIMSS stage 7
When IT and reimbursement intersect: The renewed focus on care transition technologies

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