National Health IT Week is Oct. 8-12: 5 things to know

National Health IT Week, an annual awareness event founded more than a decade ago, will take place Oct. 8-12, 2018.

Here are five things to know about the weeklong event:

1. The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society and the Institute for e-Health Policy established National Health IT Week in 2006 to raise awareness about the value of health IT. Ongoing themes of the event include how health IT can support healthcare transformation, expand access to high-quality healthcare, increase economic opportunity and improve community health.

2. HIMSS and the Institute for e-Health Policy continue to helm the event as co-sponsors. This year, other partners include various government agencies, IT corporations and vendors, healthcare providers, trade associations, and universities. Major providers partnering with National Health IT Week 2018 include Banner Health in Phoenix, Christus Health in Irving, Texas, and Penn Medicine in Philadelphia.

3. One of this year's national events is the "virtual march on the states," during which National Health IT Week sponsors encourage participants to contact state officials to advocate for policies that use IT to address the opioid epidemic. In particular, sponsors are asking elected officials to encourage the adoption of e-prescribing and integration of prescription drug monitoring programs with EHRs, among other policies.

4. Along with national events, partner organizations host independent local and virtual events throughout the week. For example, the HIMSS New England Chapter is organizing a "Health IT Advocacy and HIE Day" to discuss interoperability trends, such as health information exchanges, and the American Health Information Management Association is hosting a webinar on EHR customization.

5. Unlike previous years, which focused on raising awareness of the potential for health IT, this year's event will emphasize the successes health IT has already achieved by "celebrating the essential role of health IT in transforming health and healthcare in the U.S.," according to the event's website.

To access National Health IT Week's calendar of events, click here.

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