Last week, HIMSS sponsored the eight annual Health IT Week.

Held in Washington, DC, the event offered the usual event offerings of speakers and opportunities to meet with colleagues from across the country. Additionally, the event’s location allowed those in health IT to explain to the nation’s lawmakers why health IT is important.

“This year, we wanted to focus on demonstrating the value of health IT,” said Stephanie Denvir, director of strategic relations for HIMSS. “One thing we realize is that organizations have many different missions and goals, but this is one opportunity to bring people together.”

With lawmakers and representatives from their offices presenting and attending events throughout the week, the HIMSS Congressional Asks Task Force named three principles that should guide the creation of health IT policy in the future:

  • Consistent nationwide patient data matching strategy
  • Alignment of healthcare quality reporting requirements across federal programs
  • Consistent adoption of health IT exchange standards and implementation guidelines

In addition to these public policy positions, Denvir said that the message she heard most consistently throughout the weekend was the importance of interoperability (a topic 24×7 recently explored with Jeff McGeath).

Another session saw physicians and nurses discussing how new products and ideas in IT were being implemented in hospitals. Denvir called the discussion “lively” and said that it made clear the fact that no single solution exists in IT. The ways in which hospitals address IT, including ways in which the IT department works with biomed departments, continue to be worked out on a case-by-case basis.