The Value of Health IT

Four Points of Engagement

As a partner-driven week, HIMSS encourages National Health IT Week participants to raise awareness and help the collective cause by recognizing the value of health IT. 

This year’s themes focus on ensuring value in four key areas:

1. Value of Health IT in Innovation

o   Highlight: Precision (Personalized) Medicine

Why should I care?

· Health IT plays a critical role in advancing innovation in biomedical research and ensuring all communities and individuals have access to the era when medical treatments can be tailored to each patient—the right treatment to the right person at the right time. 

·HIMSS recognizes the importance of advancing precision/personalized medicine and the role of technology in enabling research and evolving care delivery mechanisms where participants will voluntarily share clinical data from EHRs, and mobile devices will track real-time lifestyle data and environmental exposure–all with the appropriate privacy protections.

What can I do?

  ·Join HIMSS and other organizations in discussing opportunities to support and advance the Precision Medicine Initiative’s (PMI’s) research efforts and assist in developing appropriate security guidelines for the effort. 

 ·Support legislative action in your state that creates and funds new opportunities for universities and other organizations to advance precision medicine as well as health IT innovations that improve care and address the most vulnerable populations.  

2.Value of Health IT in Expanding Access to Care

o    Highlight: Telehealth

Why should I care?

  ·Telehealth services, and the technology that supports them, focus on expanding access to higher quality care for underserved communities (both urban and rural); addressing provider shortages; facilitating proactive disease prevention and chronic care management; and, improving patient and provider satisfaction. 

  ·HIMSS supports the idea that better utilization of telehealth, including remote patient monitoring, is vital to improving care and value for patients.  HIMSS also recognizes the importance of removing the geographic restrictions currently placed on telehealth services and expanding reimbursement mechanisms as well as the types of technologies that can be used to deliver care. 

What can I do?

  ·Move telehealth/telemedicine advancements in your state! Participate in the NHIT Week Virtual March on States

3. Value of Health IT in Making Communities Healthy

o    Highlight: Interoperability Across the Spectrum of Care by Linking Public/Population Health and Human Services

Why should I care?

  ·The next frontier for health IT is support for exchange across the spectrum of care and in support of a Learning Health System.  Interoperable data formats must be adopted for care settings such as behavioral health, long-term and post-acute care, community service providers as well as the research community, but also ensure that more population-level human services data is included in this endeavor. 

  ·HIMSS is committed to supporting and educating all stakeholders to achieve interoperability leading to information exchange that improves the quality and cost effectiveness of healthcare delivery.  We will continue to leverage our resources and our diverse membership to ensure all individuals and communities have access to the tools necessary to share health information in a secure and appropriate manner across the spectrum of care. 

What can I do?

  ·Advocates and policymakers should utilize the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT’s Connecting Health and Care for the Nation: A Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap DRAFT Version 1.0, which provides a vision for realizing a Learning Health System that advances the health and well-being of patients and populations.  The Roadmap details the need for standards and strategies at the policy, and operational level that can expand connectivity across the care continuum to include sectors such as long-term care, home and community based services and public health.

  ·Individuals can also advocate for their states to take advantage of new Medicaid policy and funding levers from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that allow for integration between health and human services IT programs for eligibility, case management, care coordination, and other areas.  Medicaid Management Information Systems (MMIS) funding is available for clinical decision support functionality that ties directly to a state’s MMIS to reduce cost and improve outcomes for public and behavioral health as well as other fields. 

  ·HIMSS encourages members to work with states to leverage opportunities like State Innovation Model (SIM) grants and Demonstration Grant for Testing Experience and Functional Assessment Tools (TEFT) to further expand health information exchange capabilities.

4. Value of Health IT in the Expansion of Economic Opportunities and Job Creation

o    Highlight: Women in Health IT and STEM Careers for Health

Why should I care?

·HIMSS is committed to empowering and advancing high-performing professionals in our mission to improve health through the best use of IT.  We have made it a priority to provide community, resources and recognition to women who have made—and continue to make—significant contributions to the field. 

·HIMSS’ Most Influential Women in Health IT Awards program—which kicks off Fall 2016—is part of a new HIMSS initiative dedicated to addressing the gender gap in health IT and the need for more recognition of women sector-wide. 

What can I do?

  ·Advocate for state legislation that creates educational and economic opportunities to build a robust workforce by prioritizing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)-initiatives that provide links to health-related programs.

  ·Nominate someone for the Women in Health IT Awards