2017 National Health IT Week Recap

Virtual March
HIMSS kicked off National Health IT Week with a “Virtual March” on Washington aimed at asking elected officials in Congress to support HIMSS 2017 Congressional Asks.  Over the course of the week, more than 250 letters were sent to Members of Congress from 31 states and the District of Columbia. While NHIT Week has come and gone, there is still time to lend your voice - visit the HIMSS Legislative Action Center today to send a letter highlighting HIMSS 2017 Congressional Asks. Participation in the virtual march helps ensure that our critical messages on cybersecurity, telehealth, and investment in broadband and public health surveillance to support 21st century healthcare are heard on Capitol Hill.  

Health IT Infrastructure: Supporting 21st Century Healthcare Webinar

HIMSS hosted an NHIT Week webinar entitled "Health IT Infrastructure: Supporting 21st Century Healthcare." More than 120 attendees heard from a diverse group of speakers on the current state of infrastructure, technology, and workforce requirements to support 21st century healthcare. The webinar panel included:

• Tom Leary, Vice President, Government Relations, HIMSS (moderator)

• Shelley Price, Director of Payer and Life Sciences, HIMSS

• Robert Jarrin, Senior Director of Government Affairs, Qualcomm Inc. 

• Meghan Sifuentes Vanderstelt, Director, Policy Division of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

During the webinar, panelists discussed aspects of our nation’s infrastructure needs from a Health IT perspective. Webinar participants heard firsthand about the economic impact health IT has had on transforming state and local public health systems, how health IT is supporting population health initiatives, and highlights from the HIMSS "Building Community Based Solutions to Connect with Public Health" paper. Investment in Infrastructure to support 21st Century Healthcare was a central theme of NHIT Week, and is one of HIMSS 2017 Congressional Asks.
National Health IT Week Awards and Partners Reception in Washington, DC

The National Health IT Week Awards and Partners Reception, hosted by HIMSS in Washington, DC on Capitol Hill, brought together over 200 health IT champions to celebrate the value of health IT.  Health IT advocates celebrated the presentation of the Health IT Leadership Awards to policymakers who have made significant contributions to advancing healthcare through health IT policy.  

Congressional Leadership Award
Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Brian Schatz (D-HI

Federal Leadership Award

Vice Admiral Raquel C. Bono, Director, Defense Health Agency 

State Official of the Year Award 

California State Senator Ed Hernandez, O.D. received the. 

HIMSS North America Board of Directors Chairwoman, Denise Hines, and HIMSS North America Executive Vice President Carla Smith, presented the awards.  Senator Schatz was on hand to provide remarks on the transformative power of health IT, and the bipartisan support for telehealth in Congress
Federal Health Community Site Visit to Children’s National Health System

The HIMSS Federal Health Community visited Children’s National Health System (CNHS) in Washington, DC for an impressive site visit and tour of the facility.  Fifteen HIMSS members, including federal government agency employees and Capitol Hill staff, learned about CNHS’s Health IT journey from HIMSS member Dr. Brian Jacobs, MD, VP, CMIO and CIO, CNHS, before departing on a staff led tour of various hospital units.

The site visit tour highlighted innovative technologies utilized at CNHS that put the patient at the center of care. Site visit attendees appreciated the insight about policy impacts on decision-making and benefitted greatly from seeing the operation first hand from the enthusiastic, passionate staff at CNHS. CNHS has been recognized by HIMSS Analytics for achieving Stage 6 on the EMR Adoption ModelSM (EMRAM).
2nd Annual Connect Louisiana Educational Symposium, Louisiana’s Old State Capitol, Baton Rouge, LA

Host: HIMSS Louisiana Chapter and Louisiana Department of Health 

The Louisiana Chapter of HIMSS partnered with the Louisiana Department of Health for the 2nd Annual Connect Louisiana Symposium. Hank Fanberg, Louisiana Chapter Advocacy Chair, and Esteban Gershanik, Chief Information Officer at Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, discussed interoperability across Louisiana health systems, projections for future health IT initiatives to address health disparities, natural disaster preparedness, and opportunities for federal engagement. Former National Coordinators for Health IT and former Louisiana state officials, Drs. Karen DeSalvo and Vindell Washington, as well as David Muntz, also former National Coordinator for Health IT, emphasized that partnerships, including with HIMSS, are key to elevating the voices of the healthcare, public health and technology communities.Click here to learn more about the HIMSS Louisiana chapter and its activities.

10th Annual Fall Conference, Atlantic City, NJ

Host: HIMSS Delaware Valley and New Jersey Chapters 

Over 600 individuals attended the HIMSS Delaware Valley and New Jersey Chapters’ 10th Annual Fall Conference in Atlantic City, NJ. The agenda and theme celebrated ten years of health IT collaboration and leadership and acknowledged the signing of state proclamations in support of National Health IT Week with remarks from New Jersey State Assemblyman, Herb Conaway MD, JD. Click here to learn more about the HIMSS New Jersey Chapter and here to learn more about the HIMSS Delaware Valley Chapter. 

Panel:Trends in payer/provider collaboration along with Pharma challenges and the critical role of IT as a change agent.”, Chicago, IL

Host: HIMSS Greater Illinois Chapter

A diverse group of panelists from across the healthcare sector presented on the critical need for collaboration across pharmacists, providers, and health plans through health information and technology. Panelists also agreed on monitoring the social determinants of health due to their overwhelming impact on health and the transition to value based payment systems. 

With this in mind, panelists discussed their work in tackling the opioid epidemic. John Klimek from National Council for Prescription Drug Programs is in the process of advocating for the development of a federal prescription drug-monitoring program to better manage patients’ opioid use across state lines and enhance interdisciplinary collaboration.  Click here to learn about the latest on the HIMSS Greater Illinois chapter. 

National HIT Week Celebration Focused on Making an Impact in Colorado

On Thursday, October 5, the HIMSS Colorado Chapter held a National Health IT Week Event to celebrate the community’s accomplishments and make an impact in their state.  The event was held at the Denver Art Museum and featured two speakers: Mary Anne Leach, Director, Office of eHealth Innovation, Colorado Governor's Office; and, Jeff Coughlin, Senior Director, Federal & State Affairs, HIMSS.  

Ms. Leach spoke about the state's Health IT roadmap development process and how they are developing a 3-5 year comprehensive high level plan that will provide direction for health IT investments in the public and private sectors. The plan will deliver high-level actionable initiatives that can be used as a sounding board for determining the fit of existing health IT projects and as a springboard for identifying and evaluating new opportunities.

Jeff Coughlin presented on the federal health it policy landscape and how chapter members can get involved in state and federal advocacy initiatives.  Click here to learn about the latest on the HIMSS Colorado Chapter.