With telemedicine, digital transformation and healthcare cybersecurity in the headlines and on the minds of healthcare leaders everywhere, it seems like there has never been a more pivotal time for health IT.
National Health IT Week acknowledges how healthcare has advanced as a result of health technology. The culmination of events, webinars and conversations will highlight for healthcare leaders and policymakers how health IT continues to transform the healthcare landscape. Running from Oct. 2-6 and backed by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), the week seeks to feature the growing role of technology in healthcare and the progress it has helped to drive for both patients and providers.
“We use NHIT Week to tell the story of why the investment in health technology by the provider, patient and various companies in the healthcare system has been and continues to be a valuable investment,” says HIMSS Vice President of Government Relations Tom Leary. “It’s an opportunity to celebrate the advancements that have occurred as a result of health IT and policy.”
Specifically, this year’s NHIT Week has four points of engagement:
- Supporting the healthcare transformation
- Expanding access to high-quality care
- Increasing economic opportunity
- Making communities healthier
During the week, regional events such as the Health 2.0 Annual Conference in Santa Clara, Calif., the Pop Health Forum in Chicago and the American Telehealth Association’s EDGE 2017 Fall Forum in Washington, D.C., will help bring the conversation to health IT communities. Meanwhile, webinars on cyberrisk management and health IT infrastructure will work alongside hashtags like #IHeartHIT to take the conversation online.
NHIT Highlights the Successes, Challenges of Health Tech
As far as technologies that experts and industry leaders will discuss during the week, Leary says events and speakers will address everything from telehealth to wearables to patient portals.
“Telehealth is going to be front and center for us this year, as it has been in the last year or so. We are seeing a lot of activity at the federal and state level for the benefits of telehealth,” Leary says. He adds that HIMSS is hoping to highlight the value proposition of telehealth from a patient engagement perspective, as well as how it is improving access to care, while at the same time ensuring that providers are properly reimbursed for telehealth services.
“Other technologies we’re hoping to highlight are the solutions that help us to advance toward greater levels of interoperability and making sure that we have standards-based technology solutions in place for everything from wearables to remote patient monitoring technologies that help providers and patients engage with each other,” says Leary. “It’s about giving the caregivers the tools to ensure they can provide the greatest-level quality of care.”
Events during the week will also focus on the challenges and benefits of the move to electronic health records.
“The analytics made possible by the higher levels of EHR adoption and proper use of EHR are really helping to drive improvements in quality of care,” says Leary.
Cyber will also be front and center during the week as HIMSS hopes to help the health IT community engage policymakers on the topic.
“We’re looking to continue the discussion around ways we can increase the resources and opportunities available for cyber professionals as they look to become healthcare cybersecurity professionals, as well as increase awareness around cybersecurity in the health IT community,” says Leary.