September 2018 Issue – National Health It Week!

In this issue of Clinical Informatics Insights, we read a nurse’s journey to senior healthcare executive and provide resources surrounding National Health IT Week, October 8-12, 2018. Enjoy!

Meet an Informaticist

By Mary Kay Thalken, RN, MBA, Chief Clinical Officer at Ensocare

The roots of my journey from practicing nurse to senior healthcare executive run deep, reaching back to early childhood. My grandmother was a nurse. I remember seeing her in the traditional nurse uniform as she left for the hospital to care for her patients. She was a powerful role model and mentor in terms of professionalism, compassion, and commitment—values that would shape my life and career.

State of the Industry

National Health IT Week (NHIT Week), October 8-12, is a nationwide awareness week focused on catalyzing actionable change within the U.S. health system through the application of information and technology. Virtually, in Washington DC and beyond, NHIT Week stakeholders collaborate towards actionable outcomes which demonstrate the power information and technology has to transform health in the U.S., and its wide-reaching global impact.


I have a friend who is the IT manager for a university medical center in the U.S. northeast. We met 15 years ago when we were working for different hospitals. Over that time, I’ve been witness to his successful transformation of healthcare communication at his medical center. In honor of National Health IT Week, which celebrates the essential role of health IT in transforming health and healthcare, I asked him to share the story of how IT has transformed healthcare where he works.

Tools and Resources

Over the years (twenty-two to be exact), nurse leaders from across the globe have utilized the Online Journal of Nursing Informatics (OJNI) to share their insights and successes on specific studies that have improved the overall well-being of their patients and organizations. These authors all have the same vision in mind: to inspire their peers who are passionate about nursing informatics.


We are in a new world awash with data, which is starting to change the way we think and act. By looking back and detecting patterns, one can theoretically predict the future is driving a whole series of initiatives within health and care. This is being played out in a series of dimensions. Read full details.


On Wednesday, October 3, the Senate passed comprehensive legislation, approved by the House last month, to combat the opioid crisis paving the way for the bipartisan, bicameral bill to be signed into law. Included in HR 6, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act are three key provisions formally endorsed by HIMSS. Read more.


We all do! Electronic health records (EHRs) were designed to facilitate workflows, record narrative and capture data. More specifically, to capture discrete data such as machine processable vital signs, laboratory test values, patient demographic information and binary data points such as smoking status. Read full blog.


Imagine a doctor who can review operational and clinical data in real time for a patient who’s had knee replacement surgery. After the patient goes home, she is given a wearable to monitor her step count. If her steps trend downward, it’s probably time for someone to intervene because she’s in pain or not ambulating correctly. That same physician could also see where she’s received care, the cost of the care and who performed the surgery. Read full details.


Access to a complete picture of a patient’s health is key to enhanced clinical care coordination, reduced duplicate medical testing and procedures, improved billing accuracy, increased patient safety, and greater patient and provider satisfaction. This requires patient data matching and cross-system interoperability that extends out into non-clinical or traditional healthcare settings. Read more.

Tool Box Picks

How will you participate in this year’s U.S. National Health IT Week? Here are a few ways to make your voice heard.

Take Action Against the Opioid Crisis

Join the HIMSS Virtual March on the States. Ask your legislators to look for multifaceted solutions, including leveraging health IT, to combat the complexities of the opioid epidemic.

Register for our Women in Health IT at the Forefront of Addressing the Opioid Crisis.

Show Your Commitment

Change your social media profile image to the #IHeartHIT avatar.

Share your #IHeartHIT Story

How has health IT affected your or a loved one’s health journey? Submit your #IHeartHIT story.

Attend an Event

Support HIMSS and your HIMSS Chapters at a local event and find a full list of activities on the U.S. National Health IT Week calendar.

Registration for HIMSS19 is now open! >>

Explore the Clinical Informatics Insights Archive


Missed an issue? Have a favorite you haven’t read in a while? Explore the archives which go back to 2012.

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Calendar of Events
Upcoming Webinars

October 12, 2018


October 17, 2018


October 18, 2018


October 31, 2018

Upcoming HIMSS Events

October 8 - 12, 2018


October 17 - 19, 2018


October 22 - 23, 2018


February 11 - 15, 2019