- National Health IT Week is upon us once again as the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) invites industry stakeholders to discuss the most pressing healthcare technology and delivery questions facing patients and providers. With five themed days focusing on topics including clinical quality, EHR interoperability, data standards, and patient engagement, National Coordinator Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc wishes to call attention to the way consumers and providers interact with clinical data to improve care coordination and outcomes.
Health IT Week will start off with the 4th Annual Consumer Health IT Summit, a keynote event highlighting the successes of the Blue Button initiative and other patient engagement and data access tools. “At this year’s Summit, we will celebrate advancements made in how digital health has helped consumers become more active partners in their health and health care, and will dig deeper into some of the ways that engaged consumers are helping to transform our nation’s health care system,” DeSalvo writes in a blog post on HealthITBuzz. “We will also hear about innovative programs that successfully advance patient centered outcomes through the sharing of information between patients and their providers.”
Other key topics that will be addressed at events throughout the week include interoperability, which DeSalvo believes is a significant part of preventing care gaps and lost data that may impact a patient’s level of care. “An interoperable health IT ecosystem that has the person at the center must leverage information beyond what is in an electronic health record, and must consider important data generated by patients, information from medical devices and trackers, social and human service agencies, genomic data and other information,” she says. “We will continue to work to develop standards, certification criteria, and privacy and security protections that foster greater access and use of health data.”
Later in the week, CMS and ONC experts will discuss the recently finalized rules for Stage 2 meaningful use and Certified EHR Technology (CEHRT), while the CDC will host a free webinar about stroke and heart attack prevention on a population health scale. Friday will be dedicated to clinical quality and safety, and will include discussions about the ONC’s Health IT Safety Action and Surveillance Plan and ways to prevent patient safety events related to healthcare technology.
“I look forward to learning and hearing from consumers and stakeholders throughout the course of the day and continuing our work together to realize the goals of an interoperable, patient-centered, health IT ecosystem,” DeSalvo adds. “I strongly encourage you to plan on joining us either in person or online on Monday the 15th to explore how many of our colleagues across the country are working hard to ensure that consumers have easy, electronic access to their health information.”