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Mobile healthcare initiatives will be part of the discussion when HIMSS executives and volunteers visit Capitol Hill this autumn as part of National Health IT Week, scheduled to take place Sept. 10-14.
HIMSS will conduct its 11th annual HIT Policy Summit on Wednesday, Sept. 12, during which HIMSS members will meet with elected officials and their staff to discuss health IT policy. The organization will also announce the HIMSS Leadership Awards, recognizing “federal and state leaders who made a significant contribution meriting national recognition to the healthcare information field.”
HIMSS has organized a HIMSS Congressional Asks Taskforce and a HIMSS Leadership Awards Taskforce to prepare for the summit. The Congressional Asks taskforce, co-chaired by MedStar Health’s James S. Harris and Lesley King of the Mayo Clinic, and the Leadership Awards taskforce, co-chaired by Fed Hannett of the Capital Alliance and Martha Dameron of Healthcare IT Consulting, California, are meeting weekly.
“Politics aside, healthcare in America is on the threshold of huge advancements that will impact in patient care and healthcare costs in profound ways. Implementation of electronic health records (EHRs), mobile technology, continued movement toward a nationwide exchange of clinical information and the healthcare advancements they make possible are already improving patient care for millions of Americans,” said Richard M. Hodge, senior director of Congressional affairs for HIMSS, who noted the HIMSS policy summit has grown from a handful of participants to more than 250 and represents states from Hawaii to Maine.
“However, critical challenges remain to ensure secure and reliable exchange of healthcare information, a positive impact on the quality of care, appropriate population health management and ensure patient safety,” he added. “True national healthcare transformation is impossible without system-wide adoption of interoperable electronic health records and nationwide health information exchange.”
HIMSS officials expect that transformation to include mobile technology – a prime motive in the formation late last year of the mHIMSS group, the development of the mHIMSS.org site and the acquisition earlier this year of the mHealth Summit, held in December in Washington D.C.
“The HIT Public Policy Summit in Washington, D.C. provides an opportunity for mHIMSS members to engage public policy leaders and fellow healthcare colleagues during an organized Capitol Hill visit in September,” said Tom Leary, HIMSS’ senior director for federal affairs. “Participants will speak with policymakers to highlight the growing synergy between mobile health solutions and healthcare information technology. This important dialogue will highlight the need for coordination and potential public policy changes for the betterment of care delivery, coordination and patient engagement.”
Added Hodge: “mHIMSS is well represented on the 2012 HIMSS Congressional Asks Task Force, which in is composed of a number of active HIMSS members and identifies the most impactful current topics for use during HIMSS Policy Summit in September. The Congressional Asks Task Force will make recommendations to the Public Policy Committee and the HIMSS Board of Directors on the most meaningful topics, which upon approval will be conveyed to members of Congress and their staff during HIMSS Policy Summit and provide language and talking points for HIMSS use throughout the year.”
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