National Health IT Week celebrated nationwide

The second annual National Health IT Week was held Sept. 15-19 and featured a full slate of events ranging from exhibitions to policy discussions.

Co-hosted by HIMSS, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives and the Institute for e-Health Policy, the week was designed to raise awareness about the benefits of health IT.

Although the majority of the events were held in Washington, D.C., there were also events held throughout the country.

The Tennessee HIMSS chapter celebrated National Health IT Week by hosting the Summit of the Southeast in Nashville, a two-day health IT-focused conference. "We had 745 registrants who heard speakers on patient engagement, health IT adoption, big data, provider education and population health management, among other topics," says Susan K. Newbold, PhD, RN-BC, the chapter's vice president for professional development. "The exhibit area was teeming with those who showed us their latest offerings. Plenty of great education and networking!"

Jason Bickford, MCSE, HIMSS department applications support director at Phoenix-based Banner Health, was one of the many health IT professionals who participated in National Health IT Week. He attended the Arizona Technology Summit on Sept. 17, and also took the opportunity to promote health IT awareness within his organization and praise his health IT staff. In an email to the rest of the organization, he called out staffers by name and listed their various accomplishments and recognized the support coders, administrative assistants and others provide to the IT department.

However, not all CIOs participated in National Health IT Week. For Edward Boys, CIO of Ozarks Medical Center in West Plains, Mo., it was about timing — National Health IT Week this year overlapped with Environmental Services and Housekeeping Week, designed to recognize the efforts of housekeepers, custodians and others on a hospital's environmental services team.

"At our institution, the IT Department is not going to run over our housekeepers and take their week away from them, or schedule a conflicting recognition week," he says.

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