Health IT takes cen­ter stage dur­ing week­long show­case

Modern Healthcare - - THE WEEK AHEAD - —Rachel Z. Arndt

Hold onto your vir­tual hats—its Na­tional Health IT Week, a time for cel­e­bra­tion and “aware­ness” of health­care in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy. Dur­ing the week­long se­ries of events held across the coun­try, health IT afi­ciona­dos will chat about pop­u­la­tion health, elec­tronic health records, cy­ber­se­cu­rity and other IT hot topics.

The week comes on the heels of the Se­nate shelv­ing the Gra­ham-Cas­sidy bill, the lat­est failed at­tempt to undo the Af­ford­able Care Act. Now, with a bit of breath­ing room, the in­dus­try has a week to fo­cus its at­ten­tion on some­thing a bit more tan­gi­ble and far less con­tro­ver­sial.

“Na­tional Health IT Week is the per­fect time to re­flect on how quickly the use of health IT has im­pacted the health sys­tem,” said Dr. Don­ald Rucker, the na­tional co­or­di­na­tor for health IT.

“It is also time to look for­ward on how we can pro­mote reliable clin­i­cal in­for­ma­tion flows and sup­port a com­pet­i­tive mar­ket that will give con­sumers, clin­i­cians and in­no­va­tors more op­tions on how to make use of elec­tronic health in­for­ma­tion,” he said.

Rucker’s of­fice is work­ing on im­ple­ment­ing the 21st Cen­tury Cures Act, which calls for, among other goals, in­creased in­ter­op­er­abil­ity. Just last week amid the Gra­ham-Cas­sidy hub­bub, the Of­fice of the Na­tional Co­or­di­na­tor for Health IT an­nounced it’s mak­ing it eas­ier for IT ven­dors to cer­tify that their prod­ucts meet mean­ing­ful use cri­te­ria, giv­ing them more time to fo­cus on in­ter­op­er­abil­ity.

Dur­ing Na­tional Health IT Week, to achieve what Rucker set out above, the ONC will host events to “share re­sources, tools, tips and in­sight on im­prov­ing the use and in­te­or­per­abil­ity of health IT.”

Those in­clude a “cel­e­bra­tion of ad­vance­ments in in­ter­op­er­abil­ity and us­abil­ity,” hosted Oct. 3 by Prin­ci­pal Deputy Na­tional Co­or­di­na­tor for Health IT Genevieve Mor­ris and Deputy As­sis­tant Sec­re­tary for Health Tech­nol­ogy Re­form Dr. John Fleming in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.


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